18.01.2010 - 20.01.2010 46 °F
Well I am finally at CIMBA and it has been an amazing few days! We got to CIMBA and immediately started meeting other students from all over the US. It seems like University of Kansas is the most popular university here, but there are people from all over. My roommate's name is Sarah and we got the biggest room available on campus. We are the only people with a balcony, 2 bathrooms, and enough room for a small family ha. We get along really well and I think we'll be just fine living together, which is such a relief. We spent the day getting our books for class, unpacking, and learning the town.
It turns out Paderno del Grappa is even smaller than I imagined. The campus is 4 buildings, 2 of which are dorms as well, a gym, a pizza place, a sports bar, a regular bar, and a pastry shop. So it didn't take much time to become familiar with campus, i still managed to get lost but that's just me and my sense of direction. We went to the cafe/bar for lunch and introduced our selves to the staff, they seemed really sweet and thrilled to have 150+ college students moving in. We had sandwiches and wine for 3E! It is much more affordable here than Venice was.
We then unpacked more and got settled. We went to dinner at the cafeteria which is pasta pasta pasta bread and more pasta... good thing i'm on a low carb diet. But it will due. We only really have bottled water to drink too, which is going to end my diet coke addiction. Next we had a quick orientation where we just got the basic ground rules for campus. The leaders of the program seem so thrilled to be here, it is going to make the experience so much better. After orientation we went out to the bar all night and everyone got to know one another. We had more spritz which is our new favorite, and had a wonderful time with the Paderno del Grappa night life.
The next morning we had 7:30 breakfast and then an orientation from 8-12. In this orientation we learned about the academic policies, campus rules, travel breaks, campus life, and all of the certificates available for us to get while we are here. I am doing the LIFE program over the next 3 days which is an intensive retreat focused on personal and professional development. They are keeping the details of the program pretty secret but i guess it is a $3000 training generally, and they are doing it for free for us. I am excited but pretty nervous about how intense they say it is. After orientation we went to abbreviated versions of our classes. I am taking:
Italian for Travelers
Business Culture and Society in Management
Business and Professional Communication
My professors are all so excited to be teaching in Italy! They are so motivated and really passionate about their topics, which is something I really appreciate. They are all so funny and laid back, which will be a nice change. One of my professors is from Slovenia and literally sounds like Dracula. Another is British and says "Crickey" all the time. They are so unique and interesting compared to my experience with Indiana Purdue professors (no offense Purdue). The atmosphere of the classes is also very different, very conversation based, not so much busy work. I think my classes will definitely be challenging and I can't wait.
We had a mall trip yesterday, which was a 45 minute bus ride away! When we got there we had an hour and a half to get all of the things we left behind. There was a madrush of girls towards the hair dryers and straighteners, which was pretty funny because no one could understand the signs in the store. We were all frantically running around the store Amazing Race style trying to beat eachother to the appliances. We finally asked a store worker in broken italian and mimicing, and found them! It was such a culture shock trying to buy shampoo, face wash, lotion ect when everything was in Italian. I was surprised with how frustrated I got and how out of my comfort zone i was. But eventually with a lot of help from the dictionary, we found everything we needed.
We also had some Gelato at the mall for the first time! I got strawberry and chocolate... holy cow it was the best thing I've ever had. I think I will be 300lbs when I come back to America, but I'm okay with that. We are now off to the LIFE retreat! I love you all and will update soon! If you are on facebook, I have put up a whole album of pictures so far!