You won't be able to take your dirty clothes home to mom and dad when you spend two months in Italy. You will, however, have a chance to take classes on church lawns, explore a new country and experience some culture shock. Despite the ever-weakening dollar, more Georgia college students are studying abroad. Lacey Luper, a rising senior at Georgia State University, spent summer 2007 in Italy. Here, she recounts May 18, 2007:
Today, we don't have the normal lesson at la Università per Stranieri di Perugia (University for Foreigners of Perugia). Instead, the group meets the professor at Bar Turreno. After we eat breakfast – a cappuccino and a honey croissant for me – we set off for our new lesson site.
We arrive at the church of Saint Angelo, an early pagan temple. We planned to go inside, but it's closed, so we have our lesson about the rise of the Christian church in Italy on the church's lawn.
Structured lessons are more or less over. Everyone's ass is wet, but we all want to go to the top of the tower of Saint Angelo. We climb a bunch of tiny, oddly shaped staircases and finally reach the top. The view is worth it. We can see all of Perugia, in every direction, and even other nearby Umbrian towns.
Lunch at la Locanda degli Artisti. Like most days, the group eats at Cinzia's restaurant, which serves typical Umbrian cuisine. Today, Cinzia serves pasta with truffle sauce, sausage and salad, and tiramisu for dessert.
My roommate and I go to the Internet cafe to meet up with some other members of our study abroad group. We all walk to the supermarket to buy ingredients for dinner. We could've bought fresh pasta, fresh bread and local cheeses from local specialized stores, but all of us are low on cash, so we go for cheap food instead, including packaged tortellini, salad, a baguette and a bottle of Chianti.
We return to the house where the other study abroad members are staying, and the family lets us use the kitchen to cook. We cook a pretty good dinner, especially for the money we spent, and talk about life in Perugia and the town of Spoleto that we plan to visit tomorrow. None of us really knows each other that well, so we end up talking about ourselves and our lives until nightfall.
My roommate and I leave the other girls' house, heading back to the downtown area of Perugia. While walking down a tiny street, a window opens overhead and a splash of liquid comes out. I have a quick vision of a woman emptying a chamber pot. Then I pray, "Please don't tell me that some local just threw chamber-pot contents out the window and onto my head."
We return to Bar Turreno for an after-dinner espresso. Upon arrival, I thoroughly inspect my white pants. Nope, no chamber pot colors. Instead, the spots are a purplish color that smells pretty foul. We decide it's vinegar, most likely red wine or balsamic.
Our professor and a few of the group's other members show up at the bar. We talk for a while with the others, before heading home. My roommate and I decide to go home a little earlier than usual, because we're traveling to Spoleto tomorrow. And because I smell like vinegar.