Congratulations, you are about to embark on the journey of a lifetime! You will make so many great memories and friends in Italy, I know I did. When packing for Italy make sure you pack light, it gets really tiring carrying around a giant suitcase through the cobblestone streets and you want to leave room/weight for souvenirs. I brought three pairs of shoes and I wore one pair of sandals the whole time, make sure you wear comfortable shoes because you are walking everywhere! There are washing machines at the apartment but no dryers so make sure you give your clothes enough time to dry. There are definitely some things in Italy that are much different than America. For one, the stores are not open all the time. Stores close at 1 and re-open at 4:30, this threw me off for the first couple weeks so plan ahead when you need groceries. Fresh foods tend to go bad much faster here because they are picked when they are ripe and it is very warm here so don’t buy two weeks of food because you won’t be able to eat it all. Piazza Arringo and Popolo are wonderful places to hangout, do homework and eat but make sure you explore other parts of the city as well. You can get comfortable in one area and miss out on some great hidden places. Experience everything you can and try to keep a journal, at the end of five weeks you will forget the things that happened in the first week. Its also nice to go back and read travel journals months after you’ve come home to remember your experience. Finally make sure you have fun! You might get a little home sick at points but this trip goes by so fast and you don’t want to miss a minute of it!