one of the many things i love about william and mary is the PHENOMENAL study abroad program. not only do students have places all across the world to choose from, they can go for a year, a semester, or a summer program that lasts a few weeks.
freshman year, if you asked me whether or not i was planning on studying abroad my answer would've been 'HECK TO THE DEFINITELY NOT NO' - i'm a home body. i couldn't even fathom being away from my family for 2 months at a time, much less an entire semester!
but college has a funny way of changing you.
i heard about a 4-week study abroad program in florence, italy. myself and one other william and mary student would live with an italian family, take classes, soak in florentine culture, and get to experience something that many other people only dreamed of. this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that i wouldn't be able to forgive myself if i didn't take.
so i applied.
and i got in.
and my thought was: oh crap. how am i going to pay for this?
so i applied for a scholarship.
and got a job.
and my gracious and generous family helped and encouraged me all along the way.
and the next thing i knew i was on a 13 hour cross-Atlantic flight with my soon-to-be-roommate from boston to rome eating cheese and bread and blushing when the staff from Alitalia airlines spoke to me in a language i didn't understand, but was excited to learn.
the whole point of this is that william and mary made it possible for me to do something so not me. and in the process i found me. while i was in italy i fell in love with photography. and ultimately it's why i'm doing what i'm doing today. when i got back i couldn't put my camera down and i was hungry to learn as much as i could about photography and anything that had to do with a camera. william and mary also instilled in me the belief that if i wanted it, all i had to do was work for it. and i could make the impossible happen. (hey, a little girl from no-where, va was in a foreign country ordering food from the market in a different language - anything is possible). [hark!]
these are a few of the snapshots i took while i was visiting venice one weekend - don't judge too harshly ;) i still have a lot to learn, but i didn't know ANYTHING when i took these!!
i loved the way the steps in venice just lead to the water - there was something so beautiful and captivating about it that i took about 75 pictures of steps almost exactly like these:
art was everywhere, street vendors, people drawing and painting... it was inspiring
this is one of my good friends kate, she was in the same study abroad program and is one of the most beautiful individuals i've ever met. so many of the people on this adventure changed my life in ways they couldn't image. [i loved the way her silhouette matched up with the gondolier's]
the details were spectacular. i took over 4,000 pictures in 4 weeks, and each time i got through them i think it wasn't enough to truly capture the experience.
this note was nailed to the wall outside of our hotel in venice. i think we deciphered it enough to know it had something to do with laundry :)
i got more than a few funny looks from folks getting this shot - i was on the ground in the middle of a public square in a sundress trying not to flash the world... my co-w&m-ers thought this was completely normal by now (i was always lagging behind, taking pictures of everything, running to catch up when i realized the group had gotten away from me)
hope you enjoyed :) and this was just venice! i was only here for 2 days! rome, florence, cinque terra, and chianti haven't even been touched yet :)