Sofi’s Study Abroad Experience in Italy

Sofi’s Study Abroad Experience in Italy

November 13, 2018

My name is Sofi Bacandreas, and I am a Justice Systems major living and studying in Florence, Italy, for the fall semester of my junior year. I chose Florence due to its rich history. Every street I turn onto has a different story to tell of the past.

While living abroad, I have been taking classes about Ancient Rome, Organized Crime and the Italian Mafia, Forensic Psychology, and Women of the Medici family. In all of my courses, my instructors have taken us on walking tours of the city, so we can see first-hand the history we are learning about. I have walked the halls of Palazzo Medici Riccardi, sat inside the Church of San Lorenzo where members of the Medici are buried, and visited Via dei Georgifili where a car bomb set by the Neopolitan mafia exploded.

One class, in particular, Forensic Psychology, has been very interesting as my professor gives us personal stories from her experience within the field. She works as a forensic psychologist specializing in family and children cases here in Florence, which means I have heard numerous stories about child abuse and custody battles. We have also learned about ideas related to criminal profiling, psychopathy and antisocial disorder, juvenile crime, and the legal actions of a civil and criminal case including extensive lessons on expert witnesses. It has been very interesting to hear about these ideas in a different setting as there are many functional differences between Italian law and American law.

Besides my studies, traveling has been very important to me. I have made it to seven countries and 16 cities and have future plans to travel to six more countries and 10 more cities. I have gotten accustomed to sleeping on buses, as I once endured a 13-hour ride from Paris to Florence. Exploring a new city is always more important than sleeping comfortably in a bed, or so I have learned.

Studying abroad has taught me so much personally and intellectually. The cliches are in fact true. To wake up every day by the Duomo is a dream, but dreams do end, and mine is almost over, so as they say here, Arrivederci!

Sofi on her study abroad trip