New Places and Many New Faces

Written by Katie Carpenter June 13, 2019

Let me let you in on a little secret. I was not an avid coffee drinker before coming to Italy, and no I did not start drinking coffee here because I was tempted by the cute cups and the gorgeous crema on top. I. Was. TIRED. Know that you will be exhausted for the entirety of the trip. But do not let this deter you from coming. This allows for unique bonding opportunities. Everyone is in it together. Everyone is sleep deprived, adjusting to the large quantities of pasta that are consumed throughout the week, and constantly searching for that 50 cents in their backpack so they can buy an espresso from the coffee machine. Students are frantically scrambling to book an airbnb, pack their bags, and figure out how the heck the train system works while also completing homework and studying for an exam on Thursday. Luckily, all of this makes for really great memories and a unique experience that is hard to put into words.

This past weekend after arriving back from Chamonix, France and Geneva, Switzerland, we hopped on the bus and arrived back on campus late Sunday night. No problem. Finals this week? No problem. Everyone here learns that they are fully capable of all that is thrown at them. Traveling, studying, making friends, doing laundry at 6:00am and adjusting to a foreign country away from family and friends. It’s all about learning how to maneuver through a foreign country, experiencing some confusion, and having a whole lot of fun. The best memories are made when you’re sitting on the pavement of the bus stop because your bus is two hours late and you’re eating McDonalds because you really wanted a “taste of home”, while chatting it up with new friends about what your life goals are.

Gourmet Dinner:

Our Gourmet Dinner was last night and boy oh boy it was so fun. At CIMBA, we are treated like adults and this was evident at dinner. Students and faculty are dressed up and together we hold wine glasses by the stem (remember this) during cocktail hour, taste Italian appetizers, and give cheers at the dinner table with prosecco in hand. The evening was wonderful and our surprise after dinner was definitely the highlight. Although the dinner was great fun, it made me sad knowing that I’m leaving in a few days. Fortunately, many students attend the University of Iowa, but there are many whom I will most likely never see again. Knowing that we all travelled to Italy and joined in on this crazy cool experience is really special though. Even if we don’t see some people again, we’ll always know that we were a part of CIMBA Summer 2019.

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