First Week in Perugia

Kim Hernandez Food & Sustainability Studies, Perugia, Italy


September 3, 2019
Currently Studying at: Food & Sustainability Studies, Perugia, Italy
Homeschool: Duke University

After several travel mishaps, I have finally arrived at Perugia. All my biggest travel fears came true: delayed flights, a canceled flight, several train rides (and a missed train), and a severe case of jet-lag. The 48 hours leading up to my arrival in Perugia have definitely been the most stressful ones of my life thus far. I am not exaggerating when I say I was EXHAUSTED when I finally arrived in Perugia. I send my sincerest apologies to any other travelers at the train station who had to see me at my most distraught and disheveled. After resting and enjoying some great pasta dishes, I finally felt better about being so far from home. My first few days here really made me appreciate how important it is to eat and get enough sleep! Definitely pack a sleeping mask if you want some quality snoozes while you get adjusted to a new time zone.

My second day of class, I woke up feeling sleepy, but I was over the moon because it meant that I had finally gotten my sleep schedule to line up with my new time zone. Going from Pacific Standard Time to Central European Time (the time zone used in Italy) is really no joke! I am currently living 9 hours ahead of my friends back home on the west coast, and 6 hours ahead of my friends back on the east coast. Who can blame me for wanting to stay up and even wake up early to talk to them? Perugia is so breathtakingly beautiful that I want to stay out and explore all night, but I know it is important to get home and get some rest so that I can actually enjoy it to its fullest!

The city center is at the top of the hill, and it seems like every street will eventually take you back to the center of town, so long as you keep moving uphill! Whoever designed the city streets really made them fool-proof and easy to navigate, which is helpful to us jetlagged students who end up accidentally taking a different route home, but somehow still end up at home. While I am by no means directionally challenged, and I do pride myself on being able to navigate myself and others, I still do not understand how this happens!

I’ve currently gone through a week of intensive Italian class, and will soon begin my core classes that are part of the Food and Sustainability Studies Program I am enrolled in. This past weekend, Arcadia hosted an orientation day at a family farm with a beautiful view of Lake Trasimeno. While I loved being able to learn about wine and olive oil production firsthand from the farmers, I especially loved meeting the farm dogs! My favorite was a little black dog named Punto who loves to snuggle against your legs and of course, loves getting pet! I am looking forward to going on more excursions like this with my Food Studies cohorts and learning more about food production here in Italy. So far, my classmates are lovely and just as passionate about food systems as I am, and I am excited to spend more time with them! I am happy to be here in Perugia studying the two things I love most: the Italian language and Italian food!


Italy Semester