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Sean Somers’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 10 Feb 2010

Location: London, UK

MapIt has been awhile since my last update so there are so many things to discuss! Classes have finally started...I know...we had the longest orientation ever but I was excited to begin new business classes and to meet some new people. My first new class that I had was Business, Government, and the Global Economy, which is basically International Economics. The people in the class are great, the teacher seems pretty cool, and the subject material quite dry. It is helpful though since we discuss current events from economies of different countries, which is actually quite interesting. It is helpful in finding out where I should travel and where I can get the most for my U.S. dollar...Greece anyone??? LOL

My second new class is Post-Industrial Business in Milan: The Case of Fashion. This class seems like it will actually be the most interesting. Our teacher is trying to get us in to a fashion show during Women's Fashion Week in Milan...so that would be cool to experience! Our teacher is this tiny little Italian lady who cannot pronounce my name (what else is new in Europe) ...she says it like la "Seine" -the french river...the whole class burst out laughing...it is just so funny to me that my name is such an obstacle here when it is so normal back home. I LOVE IT.

Another thing that started up this week was my internship at the Lorenzelli Arte (an italian art gallery owned by Matteo Lorenzelli). It is a really neat place. It is on one of the most famous streets of Milan (Corso Buenos Aires) and the gallery itself is very neat. My main job will be to help with the marketing of the gallery through the gallery's website and helping translate the italian into english for the english part of the website. Today, I worked with an artist by helping him take his canvas painting and place it in a frame. This canvas was huge and it took probably and hour and a half to get it in the frame. It looks good though! It will be part of the new exhibit that is opening up next Thursday. The best part of the day was when my boss (Matteo) asked if I wanted to come to lunch with him and the artist; of course I said yes. We went to this really neat place on Corso Buenos Aires and I had this really great pasta dish with vegetables. I was about to order some water when Matteo said, "Sean, don't you want wine? Come on, I'm paying, red or white?" He refused to let me have water so I had a really great glass of red wine that he recommended. La pasta ragu con verdure, il pane con l'olio di oliva, e il vino rosso...what a meal! Then to top it off, he ordered us all coffee...which in Italy is like a double shot of espresso haha...and then these awesome cookies drizzled with chocolate. Very satisfying meal...esp. since it was free! :))) I think its going to be a great experience working for him though; I really enjoy the gallery and I get to come to the opening night events when they unveil the new exhibits...so that should be cool!

I am continuing my italian class but its not 3 hours a day anymore...thank goodness...I'm truly amazed though how much more I am able to communicate to people. It is amazing how much it helps to be immersed in the culture/language and see how quickly you pick up on things. It now isn't a scary experience to go run errands and worry that you might not be able to get across what you want to say!

This past weekend, I was fortunate enough to get a tiny break from Italian and go back to English because I went to visit my friends in London! It is a place I have always wanted to visit so I'm glad it worked out so well. Currently, I have two friends from high school and seven from my business fraternity studying there so it was great to catch up with them. London is huge...the Tube (which is the subway) was a little intimidating at first but you get the hang of it pretty quickly. My friend Molly brought me around to all the touristy attractions...we got to see Big Ben, Buckingham Palace (changing of the guard!), Hyde Park, the Tate-Modern museum, the Thames River, Portobello Road Market, the National History Museum, Harrods, and the best part...PLATFORM 9 and 3/4!!! sadly i did not make it through to Hogwarts...'sigh'...but we covered a lot of ground! It worked out perfectly because I got to see my high school friends during the day while my IU friends were sleeping and then hang with my IU friends in the late afternoons and club it up with them until we found a double decker bus home hahaha. I think I was getting about 3 hours of sleep a night. Whatever, sleep is overrated. It was really great seeing everyone and I am super excited because my IU friends are coming to Milan for my bday weekend! Woot woot...so that will be fun! It was nice to have the language flow so freely for a weekend and be able to hold up a conversation easily with other people. Another successful adventure...feel free to check out some of the new pics I posted from the trip... :)