It’s already over? Four weeks flew by so quickly! This past week was very eventful to say the least.
First off, my weekend in Slovenia was incredible. It took about 4 hours to get there by bus, so I highly recommend traveling there for one of your extended travel weekends. The people were very hospitable and also accommodating when it came to asking for directions. It seems like most Slovenians are fluent in English, which made getting around so much easier. We started our weekend off at Slovenia’s capital, Ljubljana and then made our way to Bled. In Ljubljana, we went on a free two hour tour and learned a lot of interesting stuff. I was amazed to hear that the country is only 20-years-old! Our next destination to Bled was my favorite of the trip because there were a lot opportunities to do just about any outdoor activity you can think of. My group and I decided to do rafting and canyoning through a tourist company called Fun Rafting and we had an awesome time! If you have not heard or done canyoning before, I highly suggest checking it out. It entails hiking through canons, jumping/sliding into small pools inside the canons as well as zip lining. Again, you should consider traveling to Slovenia because it is gorgeous, very laid-back, and has really good food!
Aside from my great time in Slovenia, I had an exciting last week on campus. At the beginning of the week, I went on my first visit to a winery with my International Marketing class. We also had our formal dinner on Tuesday night where all the students, professors, and staff dressed up and went to this very nice restaurant and had delicious Italian food. My last week of classes also went very well. To my surprise, both of my classes did not at all seemed rush to get through a whole semester worth of material. Even though my classes weren’t extremely challenging, I learned a lot in just four weeks, especially in my International Marketing course. It was interesting to apply my observations of the Italian culture into the material I was learning in class.
Anyways, here is a list of more tips/recommendations that I thought I should share with you all…
Tip #1: Do NOT wait until last minute to book your hostels. Plan your weekend trips at the beginning of the week or even a week before if possible. I found it very difficult and even more time consuming to find available hostels/hotels during the middle of the week. It seems like this won’t be a problem, but trust me, it was a little bit of a challenge to research all of my weekend travel plans while also doing homework.
Tip #2: Consider the type of luggage you bring. As I mentioned earlier in my blog posts, I have a backpackers bag and a smaller backpack I used for the weekends. I’m relieved I choose those backpacks because it will make it easier for me to get around as I travel after the program.
Tip#3: Find restaurants that don’t have service/cover charge. Tipping is not at all an expectation in Italians restaurants. However, there are some restaurants that automatically include a service charge in your bill. I have noticed that many restaurants who don’t have service charge will display their no service charge on their windows and menus outside the restaurant. I suggest to look for those to help cut some costs because eating in Italy is definitely not cheap!
Tip#4: Look into purchasing all-day tour passes for the cities you plan to visit. My travel group and I bought an all-day pass to see most of the major sites in Verona. There usually around 20 euro with a student discount. I’m not sure what other places offer this type of pass, but it wouldn’t hurt to look into it!
Tip #5: Don’t be afraid to leave the country for the travel weekends. I initially thought leaving the country for a weekend would be too much of a hassle. However, I knew a ton of students that went to Amsterdam and Brussels in just one weekend and some other students who went to Barcelona, Spain. A lot of them said that it was a good amount of time to travel there, so don’t be afraid to explore more than the great Italian culture!
Well i’m off to explore more of Europe before I head back to the states. My plan is to travel to Austria, Germany, Cinque Terre, and Rome all in my final week. Can’t wait!