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 Back to SummaryAmanda Romero - Student Advisor Profile

photo of Amanda Romero
Stanford in Florence - Spring 2007-08
MAJOR: Anthropological Sciences
MINOR: Art History
ACADEMIC INTERESTS: Medical anthropology, Italian, Public health

Flashback to NSO freshman year- after choosing which IHUM and PWR to take I had one more decision to make- Italian or French? What started off as an arbitrary decision soon became an important part of my time at Stanford. And two years later, I finally set off for Florence.

... I discovered the key to understanding Italians. These people are storytellers. They don’t just speak with words, they speak with their entire bodies, especially the hands.

I had been studying Italian for 2 years and 1 quarter at Stanford which gave me great preparation for Florence, but I had never had to speak Italian everyday, all day long. After the first week, my body was exhausted–physically from the endless exploring and mentally from trying to remember all the vocabulary and tenses from the years past.

My host mom couldn’t speak English and soon I learned how to understand what she was saying without understanding every single word. And then I discovered the key to understanding Italians. These people are storytellers. They don’t just speak with words, they speak with their entire bodies, especially the hands. And man do they have some stories to tell.

...there were always Italians ready to tell us why their city was the most beautiful and most historical in all of Italia and tell us how best to explore their world.

Along with getting to know the life of a Florentine, we took a road trip through the Tuscan hillsides, swam in the Blue Grotto, hiked Cinqueterre, went to Venice for Carnivale and so much more. But no matter where we went, there were always Italians ready to tell us why their city was the most beautiful and most historical in all of Italia and tell us how best to explore their world.

Being in Florence also helped me land an internship with the World Health Organization, which might have been near impossible in the US. Then the internship gave me the perfect reason to stay in Italy throughout the summer (along with a generous Adamson Grant) and further experience “la dolce vita”.

Looking back now, my 8 months in Florence were rich in everything—the culture I got to be a part of, the incredible food I got to eat every day, and the unexpected adventures that a simple ride on public transportation could lead to. I

Though I was ready to come back to my family and Stanford at the end of it all, I still feel like there is a home waiting for me back in Florence...

made real connections with the people that became a part of my daily life in Florence, and they have a fond place in my memories. Though I was ready to come back to my family and Stanford at the end of it all, I still feel like there is a home waiting for me back in Florence—with the largest plate of penne al pesto ever imaginable and a heaping side of tiramisu.

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