I can’t believe I have less than a month left in Italy! Coming to the end of the program is feeling bittersweet, as I will be so sad to leave but am so proud of how much I have grown through the program. Studying abroad has been an excellent opportunity to develop skills that are transferrable to all other areas of my life.
My communication skills have improved exponentially. Through taking Italian through CAPA, I have learned basic language skills to interact more effectively and respectfully with Italians. I have also become more comfortable with communicating non verbally. There have been several situations in which language barriers make articulating a thought very difficult. Using gestures, body language and facial expressions can be extremely useful in getting a message across when words fail.
I have become much more adaptable and flexible through my time abroad. I have learned to expect the unexpected when travelling, as nothing will ever go as planned (especially when you’re flying Ryanair). Being able to adjust a plan as needed and go with the flow is incredibly important. The improved adaptability comes with better problem solving skills. Navigating international transportation can be extremely challenging, but using critical thinking skills and knowing how to ask the right questions makes every situation manageable.
Through my experiences in Florence I have become a more empathetic individual. Through sharing stories with students and locals, I have practiced listening to understand rather than to respond. I am grateful to have encountered people from all over the world who have deeply impacted my view on humanity for the better.