As I sit here in Downingtown, Pennsylvania two days after leaving Florence, I can’t help but miss this place SO much. I feel so lucky to have had this experience, to be able to learn and grow in a new city across the world. It has been only two days and I already miss the people and the places. It was such an unreal experience and sometime during these last four months, it all became so normal for me; getting on a plane every weekend, traveling around Europe to new places, and going to Piazzale Michelangelo on weeknights to watch the sunset.
Specifically, I think I am most thankful for the experiences abroad, the classes and professors I had, and the people I’ve met and grown close to while abroad. Going abroad has made me even more independent. Traveling to a new country is nerve wracking. Figuring out how to handle the language differences, the public transportation, and everything in-between makes everything a little bit more challenging, but after successfully doing this for four months, I feel as though I can accomplish anything now. I am more adventurous and willing to take the lead when faced with an unknown obstacle. I am also thankful for the opportunity I had to volunteer at a school teaching English. I stepped out of my comfort zone and got to help and work with children (something I have always been passionate about). These experiences have helped me grow was a person and I could not feel luckier.
Along with the personal growth I experienced abroad, I also grew academically. I took classes I thought I wouldn’t like, classes that I thought would be a breeze, and classes that I didn’t think I needed, and they all proved important to me. I took a history class that I swore I would never appreciate, but I learned more about WW1 and WW2 than I ever have. This knowledge is important to know, even if it is the past. I have a new appreciation for european history. I took 2 class about international business and multicultural businesses that really increased my interest in multinational companies and organizations. These classes explained my knowledge of Human Resources Management and I fell even more in love with my major, confirming even more so that I am on the right career path. I also took Italian with one of the greatest professors that taught us way more than just the Italian language. The knowledge I gained and connections I made with the professors is something that will be with me forever.
Studying abroad in Florence was the best decision I could have ever made and I recommend anyone thinking of studying abroad, to make the leap -it will pay off! This experience has changed me for the better and I will never ever forget it!
I hope to be back soon Florence,