A Bittersweet Goodbye

Well, everyone, we’ve made it to the end. If you told me back in January that I would ever reach this point, I would have never believed you. The possibilities were endless, and the memories were yet to be made. It was just me and my google translate against the world. Now I’m sitting in my hotel one day away from flying home, trying to decompress. I never thought I would be the person who would change a lot during their study abroad, but I definitely did. The transition from online covid classes to in person classes and then to Italy was a jarring one for me, but I’m so thankful that I was able to come here during this semester. I was able to see a more confident and self-assured version of myself explore a new part of the world and make amazing memories along the way. I picked up some of the language, ate some amazing food, and met friends who I know will be in my life for a very long time. 

Professionally, I had the chance to intern at a digital marketing agency here in Florence. I always thought I wanted to work on an international scale, but this experience has confirmed it. I learned so much about the business and my boss was an amazing mentor who helped me out in so many ways. He not only taught me about marketing, but Florence, the people in it, and how business is run here. 

Traveling throughout Italy has been such an amazing experience. This is rightfully one of the most beautiful countries in the world. I have been from the very top in Bologna and Venice to the very bottom in Ortigia island and Palermo. My favorite parts of it have just been sitting on the bus or train and watching the landscape pass me by. Everything looks like a painting. The trip I will never forget will be when I drove through Tuscany with my aunt on our way to Seturnia. The miles and miles of olive and wine vineyards were absolutely breathtaking and such an amazing experience that I will never forget. 

All in all, I would study abroad again in a heartbeat. It has been such a special time for me and an experience that could only happen here. I was able to see a local side of Florence while there were no tourists, and I was able to see the city become vibrant again during the spring. The architecture is so unique, and the history is unmatched. If anyone ever reading this is hesitant about studying abroad, especially in Florence, go for it and do it for you – nobody else.