As I wrap up blogging for Pitt Business this semester, I want to share the places I have traveled, my favorite memories and some challenges that I have faced. Though, it is hard to pinpoint my favorite memories (and I am still making some!) with all of the good times I have had while studying abroad. I may not be looking forward to leaving my new city, but I am excitedly anticipating taking the time to reflect on my experience; I am much more of a “live in the moment, think/reflect later” kind of girl – I do not realize the big picture until I have stepped away from it all – and I would not have it any other way! The best way to study abroad is to be in the moment, take in all the fine details, then think about your travels later as you tell stories, look at photos and relive memories… and I apologize if this is unsolicited advice. 🙂
Places I Traveled While Abroad:
Places I Will Travel Next…
- Chairlift in Capri to the highest point of the island – the views were unreal, and the quiet moment alone in the chair gave me the space to thank God for all that He has given me, including that beautiful view
- Boat cruise and kayaking around Lagos, Portugal and watching the sunset at Cape St. Vincent, the “End of the World” and where Christopher Columbus set sail; I am still in awe of this beautiful place!
- Attending San Marco’s Basilica for Easter, and boating and wandering around Venice, Italy
- Eating the best gnocchi in Florence, Italy
- Watching the Irish beat the English in rugby on St. Patrick’s Day on Carnaby Street in London
- Watching the sunset over the Alhambra at the St. Nicholas lookout in Granada, Spain
- Seeing Banksy’s original works in Amsterdam, The Netherlands
- Boating around the Amalfi Coast for a gorgeously sunny weekend, and swimming in the Mediterranean… can you tell I love boats?!
- Picnics in Retiro Park (Madrid’s Central Park!)
- Late nights with my new roommates, who I will miss so much!
- Leisurely drinking coffee in the park and reading my book, feeling stress-free
- Celebrating my 21st birthday surrounded by new, international friends
- And finally, having my two best friends travel the world to visit me for spring break!
- Language barrier – this was by far the hardest part of study abroad! I have gained more Spanish skills, though, I still struggle to hold complex conversations and remember new vocabulary.
- University – my classes challenged me to write more and think outside of the box. As well, the administration would not let me take a Spanish class at my designated Spanish level, and I ended up not taking any Spanish classes while abroad. I was deeply upset by this, and still think I would have benefitted more from a Spanish class. It was challenging to work with a University that was not accommodating.
- Relationships – you will struggle with relationships, both at home and abroad. I grew from this, realizing that I give too much to others and need to put myself first (… sometimes being selfish is a good thing!). It is important to keep up with those at home. However, going abroad was a much needed breath of fresh air that re-centered me, and I have come to realize it is okay to outgrow certain friends. Also, I learned to not let the other people that are abroad with you dim your experience with their unkind actions, rudeness or negativity. You do you!