When the eight of us gathered in Florence in early September, 2008, we were full of dreams about a month of travel around Europe from our base in Italy. However, we found our days were much busier than anticipated. Preparing for a year at the Università degli Studi di Firenze, we needed to become proficient in Italian-fast. If we had any hope of keeping up with our lessons, much less pass the final exams, we had to spend six very intense hours at language school every day. By the end of the month, although I knew I was nowhere near being ready, I started classes at the university.