Ciao For Now

I’ve been home for a little over a week now and it is so bittersweet.  Being so far away gave me a new appreciation for home. There’s nothing like the comfort of your own bed and being close to friends and family.  I’ve missed random things like driving, trashy reality TV, and super-sized coffee. While it’s good to be home, I already miss Florence so much. I already miss the food, the people, and the beautiful streets.  This semester has easily been the best four months of my life. I took really interesting classes, worked for a large international company, and traveled to new places. In my Renaissance Art class I learned about famous Italian artists and their techniques.  It gave me a better understanding of Italian history as well. In Cross Cultural Psychology I learned about Italian values and views on politics, gender roles, mental health, and immigration. My Italian language class taught me how to function in everyday life, giving me phrases crucial for grocery shopping and understanding directions.  Lastly, my internship taught me about work culture in Italy. Now I understand how important personal relationships are with coworkers. I developed skills such as time management, problem solving, and communication. I am confident that everything I learned on the job in Italy will benefit me in future jobs, too. As I learned so much from inside the classroom and workplace, I learned just as much from life outside of them.  I was able to travel internationally to Madrid, Budapest, Vienna, Prague, Munich, and Athens. Each city was unique and opened my eyes to new cultures. In addition to international travel, I was able to explore multiple parts of Italy. I visited Bologna, Milan, Venice, Viareggio, Siena, San Gimignano, Cinque Terre, the Amalfi Coast, Palermo, Catania, Pisa, and Lucca. Seeing all different regions allowed me to grasp differences between the northern and southern areas.  Traveling within Italy was my favorite part of studying abroad because now I can truly speak to the culture of the country where I studied. I am beyond grateful for the opportunities that I had while abroad because each one helped me grow academically, professionally, and personally. It’s good to be home, but I know that I will go back to Florence one day and visit all of my favorite places again. To anyone contemplating studying abroad, do it – it is a once in a lifetime experience!