While I was finding a way to complete school requirements for the New York City Board of Education I stumbled upon a great little secret. It's no secret to 20 year olds looking for a study abroad program. It's a secret to us older folks looking for a non-traditional way to earn credits and have an adventure.
I found this great school called Lorenzo de Medici. Lorenzo de Medici is an accredited college with classes in Florence, Tuscania, Venice, and Rome. They work in conjunction with Marist College in NY and that's where my credits came from.
You can take classes in anything from jewelry making, to sculpting, to cooking. The classes are for 4 weeks with Fridays off. Most are for 3 credits. I took a class called Pairing Food with Wine. I don't know about you but this has always been a mystery to me. I had a wonderful teacher, Renata, who had a very laid back way of teaching and spoke excellent english. We learned how to taste wine and rate it with our own taste buds and not some experts. We made pasta from scratch and created dishes that still make my mouth water just thinking about them!
The best part about taking classes in Italy is that you learn to live like an Italian for a month. You become a local. Your life slows down and you learn how relax and enjoy. Sip a glass of wine in an outdoor cafe and people watch. Have a cup of cappacino in the morning and talk to the regulars on their way to work. The Italians are a friendly people and make you feel welcome. After teaching all year long, it was a wonderful way to recharge, rejuvenate, and have an amazing summer experience.
If only I need more credits!