30 Aug | Kara Rutkin | No Comments

Prayer Requests | Florence, Italy


In 14 hours, I will be boarding the plane. I have been running around like a chicken with its head cut off all day, but I am pretty much packed and ready to go!

But despite having everything in a suitcase, I am a nervous wreck. I have never been to Europe before, let alone lived outside of Orange County for more than a week. So with that, I would just like to list some things that I would love for you to pray for as I leave the country:

  • Safe travels with my flight, and that I don’t forget anything
  • That I won’t get TOO homesick, and make friends quickly.
  • Safety in Europe…there are a ton of pickpockets, criminals, and gypsies, so pray that I don’t get jacked!
  • For the culture shock to not be a huge problem, and for an easy transition into the language and customs.

Cause as excited as I am about this trip, my nerves are getting the best of me right now. It was really hard saying goodbye to my friends and grandparents over the weekend, and it will be even tougher leaving my family. But God is going to protect me, and I know that He wanted me on this trip. This semester is going to change me, and I can’t wait to see how.

Aaaaaaaah, the next time I will be writing on this is from Italy! See you there, everyone!

Love, your Italy-bound friend,




29 Aug | Kara Rutkin | No Comments

Keep in Touch! | Florence, Italy

Holy cow…in a day and a half, I will be on a plane to Florence! I am FREAKING OUT…in good ways and bad ways. But I digress.

Anyways, a lot of my friends have been asking me how on earth they can keep in touch with me while I’m in Florence. This is mostly because….


Let me say that again, and in a bigger font size….


Well, I will have a phone, but it will only work in Europe. So if you happen to be in the greater European area, I will be more than happy to give you my number. Otherwise, you will be really disappointed to see that I won’t be responding to text messages or phone calls from 7:00a.m. Tuesday morning through December 19th. And then you will probably think I hate you or something. Definitely not the case! So don’t delete my number, cause my precious baby iPhone and I will be reunited upon my return home (It’s going to be rough. Pray for me.).

Anyways, so with that bombshell out of the way, let’s get to the fun stuff! Here are all of the many ways we can keep in touch while I am in Florence!

    1. Snail Mail

      Kara Rutkin



      50123 FIRENZE, ITALIA

It will take about 8-10 days to get there. Give me your address and I will try to send you something as well!

  1. Facebook


  2. E-mail

    I’ll probably check it everyday, unless I’m traveling.

  3. Skype

    username: kararutkin

    Skype is a free online video chat service. The reception and picture are pretty good if you have decent internet. All you need is a webcam and a screen name! I will probably not be making many calls due to the HUGE phone bill both of us would recieve, so Skype is an awesome alternative. If you want to Skype with me, let me know, and we’ll set up a time. Remember, the time difference is 9 hours between us!

  4. AIM

    username: karawantsafanta

    Ancient, I know, but I still use it every now and then. πŸ™‚

So there you go…five ways modern technology is going to keep us together while I’m abroad!

Now the REAL countdown begins! Aaaaaaaaaaaah!



24 Aug | Kara Rutkin | No Comments

Frequently Asked Questions | Florence, Italy

Throughout the last couple of months, I have been telling almost everyone I meet about this trip. Whether it is my coworkers, random strangers, or distant family members, I absolutly love telling people about the journey I’m about to partake in.

But since my departure is next Tuesday, and my contact with people in the US won’t be as frequent (booooo) I thought I’d answer some questions that people ask me about my trip on the blog. If you have any others for me, *feel free to ask!

Here we go…

Why Italy and why now?

It was never in my college plans to study abroad. But after much prayer and thought, I decided that it would be the perfect way to end my Chapman experience. I may have been putting it off til the last minute…but better late than never, right? Besides, when will I have another opportunity to live in Europe?

I chose Italy because I have never been to Europe, and have always wanted to go. As a child, I dreamed of visiting Italy. I had this crazy idea that all they did was eat pizza all day and they took boats to work. As I grew older, my perception obviously changed, and I began to recognize what a rich history the country had. And oh yeah, AMAZING FOOD (By the way, I plan on coming back 40lbs heavier. Don’t judge me and my lifestyle!)

I had a few friends positively rave to me about Chapman’s Florence, Italy, study abroad program, and I yearned to be a part of it. And 8 months later…here I am!

Where will you be living?

I will be living in the heart of Florence, Italy, in an apartment that was selected for me via my program. I am excited because I will be living with 4 other women, two of who happen to go to Chapman! πŸ˜€

What classes will you be taking?

Since I am entering my senior year, I am fortunate enough to have most of my GE’s, major, and minor classes completed. So while in Italy, I will only be taking one class that applies to my minor. Otherwise, it is electives for me! I will be taking courses such as food and wine pairing, art history, Italian, and event planning. Not too bad of a load, if I do say so myself (especially since I get to return to PR campaigns and Entertainment Marketing. Ugh).

Do you speak Italian?

Nope! Not a word. But I will be taking basic Italian while I’m there…and I think there is no better place to practice!

Where else do you want to go?

This truly depends on the amount of funds I have. But I have booked a field trip to Switzerland and the French Rivera through the school. I also want to visit other parts of Italy, such as Rome, Venice, Cinque Terre, and Milan, to name a few. I also plan on spending many a weekend exploring all that Florence and the greater Tuscany area has to offer. Other countries I would love to visit are:

  • Germany (Can you say Oktoberfest?!)


  • Ireland (To visit my Irish peeps from Knott’s!)



  • Spain (In honor of my dearest Michelle’s study abroad experience)



  • France (Not gonna lie…half of this reason is cause I want to go to Disneyland Paris)


My next entry will be all about ways to contact me while I’m in Italy. Ciao!


*By the way, even if you don’t have blogger, I believe you can still comment πŸ™‚


23 Aug | Kara Rutkin | No Comments

Ciao! | Florence, Italy

Hello everyone! Welcome to my Italy blog!

So in case you haven’t heard (which I highly doubt), in a mere WEEK, I will be leaving on a jet plane to study abroad in gorgeous Florence, Italy! That’s right, from August 31-December 18, I will be taking part in an adventure unlike any other I’ve had in my 22 years of existence. I will be living, breathing, sleeping, eating, and any other unique verb you can think of in the heart of one of Italy’s most famous cities for three and a half months! And I plan on keeping all of my family, friends, relatives, former co-workers, and other interested acquaintances posted through this blog.

Even though I have yet to leave the state, I thought it’d be a good “blogging” start to let you know how my preparation process is going. This trip has been in the works since NOVEMBER OF 2009, so it is unbelievable to see it all come full-circle. Some may think you can just study abroad on a whim. Or at least, that’s what I thought….


The process includes an application process that would make most four-year universities’ pale in comparison. If you do not follow the deadlines, you are NOT GOING. If I were to line up all the pieces of paper I had to either fill out, photocopy, or mail, they would probably MAKE IT all the way to Italy. Okay, not really, but it was a lot of work!

But now my hard work has paid off, and I am actually going to be Italy. There are about 45 million emotions running through me right now, including:

  • Excitement
  • Anxiety
  • Nervousness
  • Joy
  • Fulfillment
  • Sadness
  • Fear
  • Stress

Okay, so most of those emotions aren’t necessarily great ones, but if you were preparing to live in another country, you might feel the same. But I know that this is going to be the opportunity of a lifetime, and is one I may never get to have again. God wants me on this trip for some strange reason…and I so stoked to find out why πŸ™‚

So if this entry intrigued you, get ready for more! I love you all, and can’t wait to share my journey with you.

Until next time….




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