It seems crazy that my program is almost over. Before starting this semester, I had no idea what to expect and all I can say is that I could have never imagined how beneficial it would be for me. I have become a lot more self-confident and braver when it comes to trying new things and doing things on my own. I wish that I had experienced more on my own earlier on so that I became as self-confident as I am now earlier in my program. I would have loved to do more solo day trips early on when I had more time to do them. Additionally, I am now more willing to just explore the different markets, stores, and different parts of Florence on my own.
I also wish that I knew more about the way people dressed here in Italy. I ended up having to buy some clothes for class once I got here as the style in Italy is much different than it is in the US. While this wasn’t a huge problem for me since I love shopping for clothes, I already know it will make it a lot harder to pack when I go back home.
One thing that surprised me about my global experience is how nice everyone I met would be. The number of new friends I have made throughout this experience is something I never expected. I think that it was almost like what a normal first semester of freshman year of college would have been like if I hadn’t started college in 2020. While some of the friends I made go to other colleges and once I go back home, I won’t see them as much, I was able to make unforgettable experiences with them that I will always remember. For me it was surprising to have roommates who all went to a different college from me and to quickly make a lot of great memories with them. However, it’s now a little sad to think about how we will be so far apart in the US once we go back.
Overall while there are few things, I wish I knew before coming, it was actually pretty easy to adjust to a completely new life in Florence. Being able to adjust so easily was something that surprised me because while I have always been someone who is flexible, I thought that I would feel more homesick or find it more difficult to adjust than I did. Now I almost don’t want to leave Florence, but I’m also excited to see what else I can take on in the future.