ACA Experience

a summer abroad

ChristianDuring the summers of the 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 school years, I was involved in the Adventist Colleges Abroad (ACA) program. I traveled to Florence, Italy, to learn Italian. The campus is of a medium size, containing luxuries such as a tennis court, recreation room and swimming pool. A short, two-minute walk from the dorm is the school building where classes were taken.

I was taught Italian conversation, grammar, history of art and fine arts. Along with these classes, we had two afternoon courses that occurred once a week—cooking and ceramics. In cooking class, we learned how to make and prepare three types of meals. Most of our classes were in Italian, but many of the teachers spoke English at times so all could understand. If a teacher wasn't fluent in English, a translator would be in that class to help those who were not as fluent in Italian. Since most classes were in the morning, the students had the afternoon to themselves.

If desired, a student or group of students could go into town. The heart of the city was only a short bus ride away. Once in town, students were able to purchase gifts or groceries, tour the many historical buildings, or visit the nearest town square where something was always happening.

The chefs always served freshly prepared food. It would be considered a "sin" if they chose to buy already-prepared food to warm up and serve to the students. On pizza Tuesdays, the head chef would wake up at six in the morning, just to have fresh and properly made pizza ready for lunch.

I truly enjoyed my experience abroad. It has greatly increased my knowledge of the Italian language, and I would return if given the chance.

—Christian Bacchiocchi