Skills for a Lifetime

Studying abroad in Italy is a life changing experience that not only broadens your horizons but also helps you develop various skills, both soft and hard. In my case, studying abroad in Florence has helped me develop numerous soft and hard skills that will be beneficial in both my personal life and professional career. 

One of the many soft skills I have developed while studying abroad has been communication. Having never spoke Italian before, I was concerned coming to Florence without knowing how to speak the native language. Although I have been taking an Italian course the entire semester and have practiced speaking Italian since I’ve been here, I still struggle talking fluently and having clear conversations with the locals. This process has taught me the importance of effective communication, specifically in situations like my own where there is a language barrier. I have learned to be patient, to listen carefully, and to express myself clearly and concisely. These communication skills will benefit me every day as communication is key in every aspect of our lives.

Another soft skill I have developed is adaptability. Adjusting to the pace of life, the way people dress and the overall environment in Florence wasn’t easy at first. However, as time went on and I began to become more comfortable in my new environment, I saw myself truly grow as a person. I am now more open to change, more flexible, and more willing to move outside my comfort zone than I ever was before. 

On the other hand, one of the hard skills I developed in Italy is time management. Being a full-time student while trying to travel the world and enjoy your time abroad is certainly possible if you’re willing to work on your time management skills. I learned throughout the semester to prioritize tasks, set goals for myself, and manage my time effectively. This has allowed me the freedom to travel and enjoy myself without having to stress about my academic responsibilities, which has been a great source of comfort. 

Furthermore, similar to time management, studying abroad has helped me develop my money management skills. I did not have an endless budget coming to Europe, and as tempting as it is to eat out and shop at every new restaurant and store you pass it’s simply not realistic for 99% of students, especially when you want to travel as much as I did. I learned to prioritize where and when I spent my money, as well as how much I was willing to spend when going out to dinner or booking a weekend trip. Managing your finances is something everyone must learn and understand to be successful in this life. 

Undoubtedly, the skills I’ve developed during my time in Florence will certainly help me throughout my personal and professional career. I look forward to the future and being able to apply these skills to my everyday life.