Monday, December 19, 2011


As I write this post, I am sitting at my desk in my bedroom in North Attleboro, MA. It has finally ended and all I can say is that was the most amazing experience I've had in my life. Those past 4 months flew by and were full of beauty and adventure and I loved every second. I definitely fell in love with Florence, and I plan on going back as soon as I can. Even though this has come to an end, I realized reflecting on my trip on my car ride home from the airport that it really was more amazing than I even realized when I was there. I recommend studying abroad to everyone. It's a chance to not only discover the world, but discover a lot about yourself as well. I look forward to being back at St.Mikes and it's nice to be back with the family and friends for the holidays. I hope everyone has a wonderful break and see you in January (: For those of you going abroad in the spring, love every second and have an amazing time!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas is everywhere in Florence! There are lights on every street, and there are decorated trees in all the main areas. Its so much fun because a Christmas market has come to town. Most of it has German products, and all the food they have are sausages and pretzels, and candy as well. Its really neat because you feel like you're in Germany, but you can enjoy the Christmas spirit they have there right downtown. Below is a picture of one of the booths at the fair. It was selling interesting Christmas trees, and Christmas dolls.

This is a picture of another one of the boots at the fair, it was metal crafted into little men that hold wine bottles, they were so much fun to look at and a great gift idea as well!

This picture is what the streets look like at night, with the lit up tree that has numerous Florence ornaments, and lights lining the streets in different patterns on each one. Its a magical place to be at night.

Yesterday, my friend and I did some exploring and wound up at a church called Santa Croce, and it was beautiful with stainless glass decorations and everything purple and gold, just like St.Mikes! One neat part about this church is that it holds the graves of countless people from the past. this one below is the tomb of Michelangelo. This was interesting to see and his tomb was their along with Galileo just to name a few.   

The last week has finally arrived, and the thought of leaving Italy is so hard to grasp. In a way I feel as though I am not ready to leave the beauty and magic of Florence. I am excited however, to see my family, enjoy the holidays and be back at St.mikes. Hope everything is well and I'll update you with my last week stories, hopefully I'll have a lot even though there are finals!

Monday, November 28, 2011


SO, once again it has been a very long time since I have posted...and let me explain. Well first off, yes we do have school abroad, but to tell you the truth the work load hasn't been difficult until the past 2 weeks. We were loaded with final projects, papers and thinking about the final exams. It was a lot on top of traveling the past two weekends. So aside from school, which I have finally got caught up on all my work, the past 2 weekends were amazing. Last weekend I went to Amsterdam with three of my friends. After flight delays and cancellations, we finally made it to our "beautiful" hostel in downtown Amsterdam. It was the perfect location and it was such an interesting place to take in. It is exactly what people believe, but it it just so much more than what you think. the streets were decorated for Christmas, because they celebrate it on December fifth, and it felt like a winter wonderland. Everyone in Amsterdam is so friendly and nice and there are canals, which make it feel a little bit like Venice. Below is a picture with two of my friends in a traditional Holland clog that can be found all throughout the city

And of course, we had to go to the famous Iamsterdam sign with the giant letters you can sit in and get a few pics. It was really cool to see at night because it was all lit up and the tram ride there allowed us to see so much more of the city 

This is a view down one of the canals. as you can see, bikes line the bridge and the roads because everyone travels around Amsterdam by bike. It's really interesting to see everyone riding bikes and the castles and beautiful views makes it feel almost like a fairytale

The weekend before Amsterdam, my study abroad program API took us to Rome! It was a quick bus ride before we were placed in an amazing hotel right in the heart of the city. Rome was amazing to me because the history was so much to take in on top of the Italian beauty. There are so many famous hotspots in Rome and API made sure that we were taken to them all. Below is the fountain right near our hotel. Surrounding it during the day were art vendors and caricature artists

This fountain is the famous Trevi fountain, which honestly took my breath away when I first saw it. It is so much more magnificent than I ever imagined. Also for any of you that know the Lizzie Maguire movie, yes she did see this fountain and make a wish. Random reference, but still for any of you that know if it is definitely fun. So aside from this fountain, my favorite part of Rome would definitely be the Vatican. It honestly was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen in my life. It was spectacular and of course the Colosseum was amazing to see as well. So all in all, Rome was amazing and I could even see myself living there

It's nice to be back in Florence now, finishing up all the hard work, and enjoying the last 20 days of my abroad. I cannot believe its already the end. I have met so many great people and have lived an amazing four months. I will keep you updated on the rest of my time in Florence, enjoy the rest of your semester until break!

Monday, November 14, 2011

SO, I am finally settled in after what feels like a long 2 weeks of traveling! it all started in Austria, visiting my friend Emily from St.Mikes, and also where the film The Sound of Music was filmed (personally favorite) It was so beautiful! We hiked mountains and here is one of the views of a fortress you can see from the mountains

We also did numerous activities such as touring a brewery and taking part in the Sound of Music tour, which takes you to all the places the film was filmed in Austria from the gazebo to the actually VonTrapp house. The whole time there were sing along and we had a wonderful time reliving our childhood watching this film and taking part in the tour. We also had the privilege to be on the tour with Maria VonTrapps actual granddaughter, who happens to be from Stowe, Vermont! It was great to meet her and here all about the VonTrapp house in Stowe. 

Austria also had wonderful food, mainly desserts that were so delicious. One of my favorites was the apple struddle which was surrounded by warm vanilla pudding

After coming back from Austria on Tuesday night, I had a day in Florence before leaving Thursday morning for Cologne, Germany! A friend of mine who I interned with this summer lives in cologne so myself along with 2 friends got to stay with him and get his experience of Germany. It was by far one of my favorite places, and the people were so friendly! On November 11, 2011 at 11:11 am we took part in the Carnival that begins each year on this date. It basically looked like Halloween, and as you can see by the pictures below, people filled the streets in all sorts of costumes. There was also parades and traditional German carnival songs and it was a great cultural experience to be a part of. 

The rest of the weekend, we spent exploring the city which was also full of delicious desserts. Below are just a few examples of the mouthwatering treats lining the streets. Cologne was also much more modern than Florence and even had the one drink I've truly been missing, Dunkin Donuts coffee. It was wonderful to finally get a little taste of that and experience it among one of the most up and coming German cities.

Overall, the past two weeks were amazing, and I cannot wait to head off to Rome this weekend with API to see the big city of Italy! I'll let you know how that trip goes as soon as I'm back (: hope all is well back at St.Mikes!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sicily and Malta were both beautiful vacation spots! It was so nice to have a week off of classes and get to relax in the sun before it gets too cold. First we went to Sicily, where we stayed in a beautiful Villa overlooking the water. Here's a picture of what our balcony looked like!

While we were there we went on a boat cruise that took us to islands north of Sicily. One of them was an active volcano where we took sulfur baths in a natural sulfur pool, and you could feel the heat bubbling below you! Then we went to a wine tasting right near mount Etna, which is a volcano in Sicily. That was beautiful and delicious! We were in Sicily for 4 days then headed to Malta, which was originally a British colony so they drove on the opposite side of the road, as well as drove on the opposite side of the car. We also went on a cruise of the Mediterranean and went to a place called the Blue Lagoon, below, that was so blue full of fish and surrounded by beautiful islands! Here's a picture below

It was really nice to come back to Florence though, it really feels like home now! One interesting thing that I thought i'd share is somewhere i felt some of the strongest culture shock since I've been here...Subway. We went today to get sandwiches and it looks the same on the outside but it was interesting to see how the Italians do subs. First off, the breads were different, the sauces were different and they LOVE loading sandwiches with mayo...they also offered corn and carrots and other varieties to put on your sandwiches. The cookies were different too, and the way they made the subs, from not forming an organized line, to making it take very long to prepare it was a completely different experience. I know, you're probably thinking this has to not be a big deal compared to other events in Italy, but to me, it has been one of the biggest shocks lately!  So if you like subway, go enjoy a nice, quickly made, delicious breaded sandwich for me. Hope all's well! I head to Austria Thursday through Tuesday to visit a friend from St.Mikes as well as see where the Sound of Music was filmed. I'll let you know how that goes!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

This past weekend was great! Got to see some friends from back at school and from home, so it was fun to show them around the city and of course enjoy a weekends worth of going out to eat. We also did some touristy activities such as climbing the Duomo which is the large church in the middle of Florence. You have to take winding staircases to the top until you reach the dome in which you have to climb steep stairs until you arrive on the roof with the most amazing view! Even though I was a little scared...I managed to get a picture to show you exactly what I saw!

This is really the view of one of the most beautiful places I've ever been that I am proud to call my home for now! Right now is midterm week so i actually have been studying a lot because this is when teachers here actually load on the work. This weekend though is the start of mid semester break! So I'm actually starting first in Sicily in a beach side villa with my roommate from back at St.Mikes, Fallon from here and her friend from England as well as her family! I'm so excited to catch up and enjoy Sicily. After that, we're flying to Malta (Which was a 7 Euro Plane ticket) for the remainder of the week to meet up with our friends from here. Malta is an island south of Sicily and East of Africa. It's one of the oldest civilized places so it should be really neat. I might not have internet access for a while but I will fill you in as soon as I am back! Hope your semester's going great (:

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

So Verona was beautiful. We got to see Romeo and Juliet's houses and her balcony which was neat and it is a very historical city so we saw churches built soo long ago! Here's a picture of the balcony below. The wall you walk past to get to the balcony is also covered with writing from people who visit with their names and the name of who they love. We also learned that they repaint the wall every six months because that's how fast it fills up and it is quickly filled once again! 

Then we went to Venice which was honestly one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to. Gondolas are exactly what you picture and the rowers of them really do wear striped sweaters and little hats! It was such a cultural experience. It was also interesting to see a city traveling strictly through water, there are no cars! It's an island so we had to take a boat to get there and when we arrived it looked almost fake because of how beautiful it is and surprisingly the water is actually very clean! We even got to see a parade in the city center which was very exciting

The trip was amazing but I was sitting in a restaurant last night getting dinner for my friends 21st birthday and I realized how different restaurants are here. Here are so major differences

1. You don't tip, you're not expected to however a lot of places can include a service fee. And because you're not tipping them waiters can take their time serving you and you're not their first priority like in the U.S.
2. It's very rare to find tap water here. You have to buy bottled water at every meal
3. There is a fee for sitting, so a lot of places each person has to pay to use their tables so take away or to go is very popular here
4. Multiple courses are very popular, therefore the serving sizes are really small, but like i said before, the food here is AMAZING!

I'll keep you updated with more, one of my friends from Saint Michaels who's studying in Grenada, Spain is coming to visit for the weekend so I'm very excited to show her around the city!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Sorry it's been so long since my last post! A lot of exploring of Florence took place this past week and we truly saw a lot of the main tourist points and really experienced even more  beauty. One place i went with my roommates was the Uffizi which is an art museum in Florence separated into numerous rooms based on artist as well as the time the works are from it was magnificent to see all the different artwork. It definitely could have taken a whole day to see and appreciate all the work but we just walked through it and took in as much as we could. This weekend we're headed to Venice and Verona with API, the program I'm in, and they provide transportation and hotel as well as dinner and breakfast so it's definitely going to be a great trip. I'm so excited to see all that the two cities has to offer from Juliet's balcony to the gondolas. I'll put some pictures up and let you know all about it as soon as I'm back, hope you're all enjoying your semester (:

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I cannot even begin to describe how delicious the food has been here. Not only are the unique dishes amazing but even simple dishes like spaghetti and marinara sauce are truly unique and mouthwatering. It is noticeable how small the dishes are here compared to home but that is because the food is that much more satisfying. One of the dishes that I love is pear ravioli; i strongly recommend trying these if you are ever given the sounds interesting but it truly is to die for. Below is another kind of ravioli, walnut which had really rich sauce and it was quite the perfect combo. 

The Cappuccino's are beautifully designed and a lot stronger than they are at home. They go perfect with all the homemade pastries to and are really cheap, a lot cheaper than Dunks or Starbucks. 

Below is just a simple spaghetti dish with garlic sauce that honestly was amazing. I even saved some so I could eat it again for dinner.

It's REALLY hard to find food here that is not satisfying and it's even been fun learning how to cook more having our own apartment. Shopping is another interesting concept because everything's in Italian so it's sometimes a guessing game to what you're buying like we had to find out Aglio is garlic, so we could make some garlic bread and trying to make sure we were getting the right kind of milk took about 20 is worth it though and it's so helpful to learning the language! Hope I didn't make you too hungry talking about the amazing meals here! 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Monte Carlo was gorgeous! We were there when they were starting to set up for the annual yacht festival which was neat to see how big and exquisite those can actually get. our tour guide also told us that just to open a bank account in Monte Carlo you need at least a million you can only imagine how beautiful it was. We also saw the royal palace and then visited Grace Kelley's grave, which was really neat to see. We then stayed in Nice which had nice beaches and gave us a little taste of the French Culture with delicious crepes every morning. Here are some pictures of the views we saw!  

The other night i also went to a football match (soccer) which is a very common Italian night out. It was really exciting and fun to see how into the sport everyone is here and it was great to just be in the atmosphere of a sporting event. Below is the view of some of the stands from our seats! 

This past weekend we stayed in Florence and explored. We went to the Medici palace, which used to be the home to one of the founding families of Florence. It was breathtakingly beautiful with all the exquisite details and art work. Even the backyard was amazing with numerous gardens. It was neat to see how long Italy's been around too, a lot of the art work there dates back to the sixteen hundreds! It was great and I'll keep you posted with more (:

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Pisa was great! We saw the leaning tower and took the pictures with the tower making it look like we were holding it up, classic tourist pic. But then we learned all about the history and why its leaning which is because of the way the soil is and all about how they had to make it safe to go in and everything. It was really interesting. Then we stayed at a hotel with the group my friends and I got to experience an Italian wedding! That was really neat. On Sunday we went to Cinque Terre which is five different towns along the coast and the houses literally sit on the edge of the hills and its beautiful but also puzzling how that works. It did take my breath away at each corner though. On a completely random side note, the gelato here it to die for. I get it pretty much everyday and have become so obsessed with trying new flavors and they even let you sample them and get two at a time. It's my absolute favorite addition to the food, which I must say has completely changed my opinion on pasta and pizza. Every dish here is amazing!

This weekend my friends and I are heading to the french Riviera! We're going to sit on the beaches in Nice and go to Monte Carlo at night. I'm really excited and excited to see more beautiful places. I'll let you know how that goes (:

                                                              Where we're heading this weekend!

Friday, September 9, 2011

This Weekend we're heading out on our first excursion through the program API, which is the study abroad program I went through. We're heading to Pisa and Cinque Terre! Below are some pictures of where we're visiting and I'll update you as soon as I'm back!

Monday, September 5, 2011


This city has absolutely taken my breath away. Each corner I turn there is another beautiful sight and its hard to decide what to take pictures of. So far, I arrived Saturday due to flight issues, went out on the town with all my roommates that night and then Sunday had orientation activities such as dinner on the roof of a hotel overlooking all of Florence. SO basically its all been magical. Classes started today which reminded me that i'm not just here to observe the beauty. I only had one class Italian, and it will definitely be difficult but extremely usefull for just everyday life. The residents here love when you try to speak Italian and often will correct or help you speak it because they respect your effort. So far I've mastered hello, thank you, good morning and nice to meet you. It's a start I guess...but this is definitely a challenge. Below are just a few pictures of what I've captured so far, but I'll keep you updated with new pictures and all my experiences!

Architecture down the street!

Ceiling of my bedroom...babies dancing with wine

The most beautiful thing I've ever seen, the Duomo

Ceiling of the hotel we ate dinner at

Florence at night (:

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Departure Day!

It has finally arrived! At 6:20 tonight I will board a plane and head out to Ireland, then England then finally FLORENCE! Its been a long three days trying to book this so I'm so excited it's finally here. My bags are backed and I've said all my goodbyes. Now it's time to embark on my journey that I've been longing for. I'll update as soon as I'm settled in and caught up and sleep...but hope you're enjoying your time up at St.Mikes (:

Friday, August 26, 2011


So Irene is literally my least favorite word right now. Because that refers to the hurricane that's going to hit the Boston area right as my plane is set to head out. I guess mother nature wants to keep me here in North Attleboro for just a little while longer. Guess there's nothing I can do at this point but wait and really hope the damage caused by this isn't as bad as they predict for everyone

Other than that my last few days have been simply a blur of trying to think of all the little things I need to do before departure! I even went through my info books API sent to make sure I'm remembering everything. I've also packed and repacked my suitcases a few time..just tryinggg to get everything I want over to Florence. I tend to forget that they do have stores there too...

Before leaving my mom decided to throw me a going away cookout! It was great to see family and friends and talk about all the experiences I'm about to have. I can't forget to mention all the delicious food involved too! I ate enough to last me a few days and it just reminded me about what great food I'm about to be able to feast upon. Here are a few pics from the cookout
Fruit salad bowl! yum

some Italian dishes!

Family (: Mom, Sister and Brother

I hope to be updating you soon from ITALY! Lets hope the weather allows for me to fly out sometime soon at least. Hope everyone's enjoying there last days of summer/first days at St.Mikes (: Enjoy every minute there I miss it so much already

Saturday, August 20, 2011

So, this was the quote that was attached to the original folder I received from my program, API. I love this quote and leave it sitting next to my computer so I read it everyday. I think it's so true and can't believe in a week from now I will be heading to Italy!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

18 days and 4 hours!

So, 18 days and 4 hours until the flight leaves..not that I have the exact countdown or anything. But really though it's finally almost here after months of planning and applying and looking into schools abroad, I am finally on the last stretch of my summer.

In a way I feel just like I did freshman year before heading to Saint Mikes. I just got the housing lists for Florence in the mail, and was able to see my roommates names as well as where I will be staying. After looking it up on google and google images it's safe to say I am living in what I believe to be one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. Dispite seeing it for myself I've watched it on TV on Jersey shore as well as heard everyone that's been there say it's just so beautiful. It makes this wait seem even longer.

My roommate in the apartment is from Champlain College in Vermont! Which is pretty neat because when we return from Italy we will still be able to see eachother and we'll have something in common when we get there, which is a love for Vermont and the ability to talk about Church Street and the whole area.

My friend from Saint Michaels, Fallon is also in the same apartment building as me! Which is awesome having someone to relate with right away. So basically it's a Vermont apartment building, and I cannot wait to move in. I'm also on the first floor, which makes me less hesitant about what I'm packing because I won't have to lug it up four flights of stairs like I've had to do the past 2 years at Saint Mikes.

But here's a few pointers I have about going abroad
-Look into all different schools and countries, I originally was going to go to Ireland then Australia but it just felt right when I stumbled across my school in Italy, so you never truly know where the perfect fit will be
-Use the resources you have like the study abroad office, your advisor and your program advisor. They really do help
-Read ALL the information you recieve don't skip over anything because the advice they give is so helpful and makes you realize things you never would have even thought of
-Organize your visa information early, get started right away and make sure to check out the Visa website for your area which is often on your programs site because the list of paperwork you need to bring to apply is really specific and you can find yourself going to the Visa office more than once if you don't really prepare...( I've been 3 times...)
-Google image where you're going! Also look up culture facts and hints. Everyday I've been looking at images of Florence just to mentally prepare myself and realize it's going to be a very different lifestyle
-And if youre going somewhere with a different language, brush up on it! It will help even if you know just some of the basic words for when you land in the airport

Well, time to get back to work but I'll keep you updated on my Italy experience as it happens!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Why Study Abroad

On August 28, 2011 I will board a plane at Logan Airport and head out on my journey. First stopping in Dublin, Ireland I will then make my way to the city I am about to call home for four months of my life, Florence, Italy.

When asked why I am going abroad it's hard to come up with answers other than the obvious; immerse myself in a new country and of course try all the delicious Italian food, but thinking deeper, there are more reasons than that.

First off, four months is a long time to spend in a country you don't speak the language, you don't know anyone and you especially don't know your way around. Therefore it places you way outside of your comfort zone. Even though this scares me it also excites me because when you are placed out of your comfort zone is when you really start to realize more about yourself and grow as a person.

Second, I've never been to Europe and what better way to see it than living there! The program I'm in even gives a two week break in October, so hello travel and not to mention I only have classes Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. So basically every weekend is a four day weekend and a chance to explore Florence as well as the rest of Italy and Europe.

Lastly, having lived in Massachusetts and Vermont for most of the entirety of my life I haven't been exposed to a lot of foreign culture. The rich history and art of Italy intrigue me as well as the language and food so it's a perfect opportunity to experience it. And when else is it going to be this easy to pick up my life and move to Italy for four months? Probably not for a long time.

And of course, how could I not mention the Jersey Shore. The cast just spent four months living in Italy filming a season and let's be honest, if they can do it, it gives me a little confidence I'll be just fine.

So that's why I'm going to Florence, Italy in case you were wondering and I can't wait to keep you updated on my explorations and experiences. I'll update you soon!


About me!

Hey Everyone!

My name is Shannon Moore and I am going into my junior year at a place I am proud to call my second home, Saint Michaels.

My first home is in a place called North Attleboro Massachusetts, a sports obsessed red and white filled town. Even though I had a great experience growing up there, it was a wonderful transition to move to the mountains, fresh air and calming aura of Vermont. Purple and gold are also much more appealing to wear.

My major is now formally named “Media Studies and Digital Arts” which is basically journalism upgraded, and my minor is marketing. I love every second of being in my classes for my major from the professors to the curriculum, because it’s actually stuff that interests me. I love to write, but trying to tell you about myself is very hard to do. I also love quotes, so if you see some thrown in every once and a while, just embrace them.

At St. Mike’s I am a member of the women’s rugby team, the DREAM program and also other programs through MOVE. I’ve also served as a tour guide and a contributing editor for The Defender. The opportunities to get involved are endless and I feel like there’s never a time when I am bored up at school which is also probably the reason it seems to be going by so quickly.

This summer I am interning in Providence, RI at Mahr Federal as their marketing intern. We work alongside customers and potential customers, and run press releases and promotions. The company itself works in the metrology and calibration services business (less complicated than it seems) but the job is great, and my boss is truly surprised at how much I am able to do with my education from St. Mikes, only having finished 2 years. Working on the computer throughout the day, I have also become obsessed with reading the news during free time, something instilled in me at St. Mikes. However, it’s also partly because Facebook is blocked by the server.

I love every day spent in Vermont, but this fall I am heading to Florence, Italy to study abroad. I feel like I can learn so much not only education wise but about myself and the world from this experience and I can’t wait to take it all in.
I’ll keep you updated on my experiences overseas, but feel free to contact me with any questions about anything I do up at St. Mikes or Italy. Best of luck to everyone fall semester and see you in January!