Spend your first night in Venice.
After my buddies and I booked our flights from Chicago to Heathrow, London, to Venice, we decided we wanted to stay the first night in Venice before we went to campus on Monday. We arrived at our hotel, the local Mariott at about 2:00 PM, which happened to be less than a mile from the Venice airport, making it a short but expensive taxi ride. We were all exhausted from the 9 hours of flying we just experienced but still had the energy and motivation to go out and explore downtown Venice. We wanted to make the best of our first night abroad. So, we took a bus from our hotel to Venice around 3:00 PM and arrived in downtown Venice by 3:30 PM. When we stepped off the bus, one following the other, we began to wonder where we were walking, looking like typical tourists. Luckily one of our friends had been to Venice in the past so he had some knowledge of where to go downtown. So, we began to explore. As we were walking we came across some scenic surroundings that were worth taking pictures of:
In addition to the sight seeing aspect of Venice, enjoying a fresh pizza from a local pizzeria is something I recommend. As you are walking through the twist and turns of downtown you will come across tons of these local pizzerias; just pick one and give it a shot. After you are done with your pizza experience, walk around and find a local coffee shop for a little desert. Desert can be anything from some delicious pastries to a glass of wine; all are satisfying and make the experience that much better. Venice is an expensive city, but there are many pizzerias and coffee shops that have affordable prices for us newbies. Take a look:
Explore the Campus.
When we arrived on campus Monday, we had some free time after the welcoming orientation ended to explore the campus and to really take in the eye opening scenery surrounding Paderno. Paderno is a very small campus so it is quite easy to walk from one end to the other in a short amount of time. We walked away from the dorms and checked out the fitness center, took a look at the swimming pool, and walked to the Tabaccheria (a local market store outside the front gate which has very delicious and cheap sandwhiches which is key when you are craving a meal besides pasta and bread). If you want to explore more, it is as easy as walking out the front gate; the roads will take you from there.
Prior to leaving for CIMBA, every individual should sign up for the LIFE leadership program. When you arrive on campus you will realize you have 2 weeks or so until classes officially start, leaving a lot of time to meet new people and to explore truly what CIMBA has to offer. At first I was not sure if LIFE was something I wanted to get involved with simply because I was worried it was going to take up too much of my time in regards to getting situated on campus, but I decided to take part in it anyways for the simple reason of wanting to meet new people and that it could help me build my resume. Well, luckily I was able to participate in LIFE the first week on campus, while others have to wait until weeks two or three. Going into LIFE I was not sure what to expect; I thought it would be just like anyother leadership program I have participated in. I was wrong. After completing LIFE I must say I am 100% glad I took advantage of this opportunity. It is a great way to really figure out what you want to accomplish and really teaches you how to use skills you may have thought you didn’t have. As I look back on LIFE, I reccomend it to any individual who is even contemplating it; it will make your abroad experience that much better.