By Quinn Western, senior journalism major
I’m a senior journalism student spending my last semester at Chico State in Viterbo, Italy. It’s a small, medieval town where few of the community members speak English and finding avocados is a struggle. The city center where I live, is enclosed by towering stone walls. My apartment building is thousands of years old (which explains why I have to pile on the blankets at night) and is said to have housed cardinals. Viterbo (about a two-hour train ride from Rome) was once an official home for the Pope as well. Continue reading La Dolce Vita: Living, Learning, and Eating in Italy
By: Amanda Hurley, Senior, Sociology, Communication Studies Minor
Re-Posted From: Chico State Study Abroad
There is no picture that can depict what its really like to walk down an Irish country road. The view of the landscape is nothing less than magical. I have truly never seen green so bright as it is among the Irish hills. Nor will I ever understand how a million stonewalls could be built by merely stacking one stone on top of the other. These dividers are everywhere; standing tall for hundreds of years without cement substance or tools, their foundation relies merely on balance. The beauty is truly mind blowing. While the horizon is decorated with traditional homes and farm animals, the occasional castle overshadows it. And it is all of this that makes me believe, life can be like the movies.
The quaint Irish city of Cork is built on cobblestone streets spotted with charming shops, markets, churches, and pubs. I’ve been hypnotized by light from the stained glass windows in an aged cathedral. I’ve been lured off the streets into English Markets by the smell of freshly baked bread. And I’m entirely convinced that nothing on this planet could sound as beautiful as live music in Ireland. The man playing a guitar and singing for spare change sounds like he won a Grammy. And you can experience the most amazing concert by simply wandering into the local pub. For this reason, I am eternally grateful I can still hear the twang of the fiddle, clapping hands, and cheerful voices chiming along. My six months in Ireland felt like a fairytale.
My life is forever enriched by this experience and I know I will never be the same. I learned to enjoy the simple things in life: the blissful pleasure that comes from the ability to relax, to refrain from worry, and to take things slowly. This comes easily when distracted by the abundant laughter of Irish humor, and the recurring phenomenon of turning a stranger into a friend. When life feels too chaotic, I revert back to my time in Ireland, picturing myself running alongside the River Lee, I am suddenly reminded how breathtaking life really is.