Ciara’s Fall Break in Florence

Ciara’s Fall Break in Florence

Posted by: on November 7, 2016   |Comments (0)|Uncategorized

Hello Friars!



FUA had fall break during the last week of October, which gave many of us the cruel realization that we were already halfway through our study abroad experience.

While some people spent their break relaxing on the beautiful beaches of the Greek islands, a few of my friends and I decided to check multiple cities off of our travel bucket lists. Between 7 a.m. flights and many stops for coffee, we managed to explore Prague, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, and London. I saw so many incredible things in those busy ten days, from amazing sights such as the London eye, to inspirational images such as the John Lennon wall, to places that make you think and question, such as the Anne Frank house. Traveling is by far one of the most enriching aspects of the study abroad experience, and this break reminded me of how lucky I am to have this opportunity!

Classes resumed on Halloween, and I returned to practicum to help my teaching partner with her Halloween lesson. The students were very enthusiastic about the lesson and loved getting to make Halloween masks, which they looked adorable in! The students from my 4th grade class put on a performance for some of the other classes, and it was so cute to see them dressed up and singing some Halloween songs.

Practicum can be challenging at times, as the language barrier is very obvious, but it has been by far my most rewarding placement so far. I have found that just being in an Italian school immerses me in the culture more so than anything else I have experienced so far. As you make your final decisions about applying for study abroad, I hope you consider the positive effects of teaching in a foreign country on your growth as a teacher!

Ciara O’Brien

Hello Friars!   FUA had fall break during the last week of October, which gave many of us the cruel... MORE

Adventures all over Europe and Halloween

Posted by: on October 30, 2013   |Comments (0)|Uncategorized

Abbey Road

After an intense week of midterms, all the students were grateful to have a week off.  Most of the students traveled around Europe, but a few stayed in Florence and really took the time to explore their home away from home.

Hauerwas Family on Mt. Vesuvius

Hauerwas Family on Mt. Vesuvius


Sunset over the Greek Isles




Halloween in the Florence Schools

This week Dr. Hauerwas is visiting each of our schools in the greater Florence area to observe us teach and meet our cooperating English teachers.   For many of us, the American holiday of Halloween is the focus of our lesson.  The vocabulary of the practicum lessons this week includes: pumpkin, witch, broomstick, werewolf, vampire, scared, haunted house, ghost and candy.NOclassroomto be; others on asking the question What is this? All of the students have loved the opportunity of role play trick or treating with their PC student teachers.   Who doesn’t like getting a sweet, as they would say in Britain.

And some reflective thoughts regarding teaching practicum:   The children always greet us with open arms and love when we come.  Their eagerness to learn English definitely shows through, and it is clear that they try their best when I am trying to teach them.  This week, more than any other week, the students felt comfortable asking me questions one on one.  As I was going around to make sure they knew all the words that they were writing in their notebooks, the students were not afraid to ask me questions about spelling.  I was really happy about this because it shows that each week they become more and more comfortable using their English with me.  Sometimes it takes them a little while to formulate what they want to say to me, but I encourage them to take their time and think about what they are trying to ask. 

The Italians also celebrate a holiday this week.  November first is the holiday All Saint’s Day, followed by November 2nd All Soul’s Day, where the Italians remember their loved ones who have passed.  The students at the Antella school where two of our PC student teach took time in their day on Thursday to visit their town’s cemetery and to honor their loved ones. The Antella cemetery is one of Italy’s famous monumental cemeteries. 

Cooking Classes

A few students have taken the opportunity to take cooking classes each week while they are studying in Florence


Homemade Pasta



Egg, Spinach and Parmesan Pie

After an intense week of midterms, all the students were grateful to have a week off.  Most of the students... MORE