Hey guys! So this Summer is going to unlike anything I’ve ever experienced… Why? I AM STUDYING ABROAD. IN FLORENCE, ITALY. With the Viterbi Overseas Program!!

First of all, I should mention that I’ve never left the country. While I love travelling and visiting new places (when I was 9 my family went on a 40-day summer road trip around the country), I’ve actually never left U.S. territory. The farthest I’ve ever been away from home is Hawaii, and that’s still a state!

Nope, definitely not in California anymore!

I’m looking forward to three main things:

1. Museums. In one of my first blogs, I mentioned that I almost wanted to major in architecture. As a mechanical engineer, most of my classes are math & science-based, but I still love everything related to art and aesthetic design. Last year I even took a drawing class through the Roski School of Fine Arts, and next Fall I might take the advanced class. Florence has so much history, once home to some of the finest Renaissance painters.

Florence artwork! When I find out where this is (future tour destination? I think so), I'll send an update.

2. Engineering Classes. I’m excited to take two classes: Technical Writing & Engineering Innovations in Italy. The class sizes will be pretty small (on the order of 12 people), so I know I’ll really get to know my professors well. Plus, that’s two more classes I won’t have to take senior year!

3. The Group. Seven weeks in a foreign country–with my fellow Trojans. We’re all engineers, we’re all going to have a blast. I can’t wait to explore Italy with everyone!! (And of course study… and eat fine pizza… and speak poor Italian… and take tons of pictures!!) Truly, I can’t imagine ever having more fun or creating more memories that the 20 of us will have together.

More artwork! Right in the middle of the street! Florence doesn't hide how cool it is.

…Seven weeks later I’ll be flying home to Virginia. And then what? Annual Wendlberger Family Reunion, spending a week at the beach (for the last ten years, the 20-30 of us have gone to the North Carolina Outer Banks, but we’re switching it up and going to Laguna Beach.) Next up? Sorority recruitment work week in the Fall!

Overall, Florence will be the highlight of my Summer. How could it not be? It looks so beautiful!