Moving to Italy

I made it to Italy three weeks ago and am finally all settled in and finding time to write this post, but getting here was a little rough. Packing was by far the hardest thing! I planed everything out to a T (including outfits), put everything into my suitcase, went to zip it shut and it looked like the bag was going to burst, so I weight it and it was about 65 lbs haha so I ended up having to pack a second suitcase and the over packer in me was able to fill both bags to exactly 50lbs in addition to 2 very heavy carryons. 

Samantha McNeil Blog Italian Alps

My first flight to Atlanta was perfect, it and I were on time. During the fight I watched The Intern and finished up this post. While I was in Atlanta , for my layover I got a day pass for the Delta Sky Lounge because I was there for over 3 hours (highly recommend). It was so nice to grab a snack, have good internet and my own couch to hang out of before my flight. I had hoped to sleep through my whole flight to Milan (since I had gotten up at 4:30am), but I ended up getting maybe 1 hour of sleep. It was a rough 8 hours.... since I had planed to sleep I bought a window seat, and lesson learned I will never sit in a window seat for that long again. I was trapped in my little corner for 8 hours and my legs are just a little too long for that, my knees were killing me. 

Samantha McNeil Blog Castellanza Train Station

Once I finally landed in Milan and I got off the plane, I went through customs, got my luggage, and waited for my friend McKenna to land. After she got in we headed to the train station to catch the train into Castellanza. We wended up getting wrong directions several times, but 6 trains later we made it to Casttellanza. 

I am studying at LIUC,  a university founded in 1991 by 300 local entrepreneurs that is housed in an 19th century cotton mill. It's located in the small "village" of Castellanza outside of Milan. They have about 3,000 students, with 200 of them abroad (some even at High Point)  and 145 in my program here this semester.  

Samantha McNeil Blog Castellanza Gelato

My first few weeks here have been a little rough, homesickness hit hard, and eating has been a huge struggle. As someone who is a picky eater, and is constantly fighting acid reflux, I've been living off of the LaraBars I packed, and slowing finding more food I can eat that aren't gelato and spaghetti. I have made some great new friends from all over the world, from places like Sweden, Scotland, Denmark and Belgium. There are only 5 americans in the program, McKenna, I and 3 boys from UNCG, but everyone in the program can speak english. 

Samantha McNeil Blog Milan Galleria

Since getting to Italy I've been able to spend some time in Milan and Barcelona before classes started, They started this week and are very different from my classes at High Point. Their isn't a lot of structure or organization over here, the classrooms change everyday and the class times change every week, which might take some getting used to, but I don't have any classes on Fridays! Tomorrow we are heading into Milan again to walk around since its currently Milan Fashion Week. Now that I'm back into a daily routine I will get back to my posting schedule of every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday! 

Ciao! Samantha