Thursday, September 3, 2015

Classes Abroad

     During my time in Italy, I had to keep reminding myself that I was on a Study Abroad trip, which meant classes and work. Instead of being bummed out, though, I had been looking forward to the exciting classes I was able to register for. I was lucky enough to be able to take Art Appreciation and Contemporary Music and Italy. The Rome study abroad trip is open to any major, and I wanted to try something different when it came to classes and try to learn about fashion in Italy on my own. I ended up loving the route I decided to go because I learned so much through my classes that I never would have thought to explore if I had been taking different classes.
     Art Appreciation was basically an art history class outside. We only spent two class sessions inside because we were always walking around Rome learning about the architecture and art of the beautiful city. We also explored a ton of museums, which I especially loved! The class was thoroughly fun, and I enjoyed every second of it! I like that we were able to mix fun with history. For example, I just received an email from my professor with a photograph he took of us attempting to reenact Botticelli's infamous Primavera. We took part of a class session to study the painting, divide up roles and style ourselves as the iconic figures in the painting. I was assigned to be a muse and Nik was picked to be picked to be Zephyrus, the first wind of Spring, because he owned a lot of blue clothing. Zephyrus is responsible for capturing Chloris and turing her into the goddess of Spring. Our professer knew that Nik and I were the only fashion majors on the trip, so he employed us to help style the poses and clothes to make sure it looked somewhat realistic. My favorite part was watching the two cupids pose on chairs to pretend to fly. I think it turned out pretty well!

Our class's rendition of Primavera by Botticelli.

     My Contemporary Music class was a little more challenging than my Art Appreciation class because the last time I studied music was when I played the clarinet in my high school band! I had never studied the history of music before, so there were a lot of new terms and concepts to learn. My favorite part of this class was when we were able to take two field trips to the opera. during our first trip to the opera, I learned that I hate opera. The experience was a lot of fun, but I can't listen to the music and sit still for more than one act. The second time we attended the opera, though, I loved the whole experience because the venue was the Baths of Caracalla, a beautiful outdoor opera venue that's situated right in the middle of real Roman ruins. The whole show was incredible! Even though I liked the story of the first opera better than Madame Butterfly, I loved Madame Butterfly's costumes, so there was never a dull moment. I had never been to the opera before this trip, so it's really great to be able to say my first opera experience was in Italy. I really felt like I was immersed in the Italian culture because we seemed to be some of the only Americans there. I wouldn't have thought to look up tickets to see the opera in Italy on my own, so I'm really thankful for this class!

First opera with my friend Haleigh!

Madame Butterfly at the Baths of Caracalla with Nik!

     Overall, I loved the experience of taking classes abroad. It wasn't easy to manage a lot of work while trying to explore a new city on your own, but through our classes, we were able to take advantage of so many fun experiences related to Italian art! I wish I could go back!

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