As I’m getting ready to leave Florence, it’s been crazy to think about all of the memories I’ve made and places I’ve explored in just six weeks! Florence has been my home away from home and it has definitely treated me well.
This study abroad experience has already contributed so much to my professional development as a business student. As I faced unexpected challenges and solved problems in unfamiliar contexts, this trip has encouraged me to think critically, analyze situations from different perspectives, and develop innovative solutions. Originally, navigating a foreign country where I could not understand or speak the language was extremely difficult. Communicating with locals, understanding street signs, and even completing basic tasks like grocery shopping was challenging. However, by embracing the language barrier, I had the opportunity to learn and improve upon my communication skills. Adjusting to a completely different culture was additionally challenging. It took some time for me to adapt to new social norms, customs, and ways of life – specifically the change in meals and dining etiquette. But, by immersing myself in the local culture and making new friends, I was able to lighten this transition.
Flambe Truffle Tagliatelle at Osteria Pastella
This experience has also encouraged some personal growth, independence, and self-reliance. Studying abroad has required me to make important decisions on my own – whether it’s choosing courses, managing finances, or planning travel itineraries. It has additionally provided an opportunity for self-reflection and personal growth as I have repeatedly been pushed out of my comfort zone.
Having to balance academic commitments with managing personal responsibilities and traveling around Italy has definitely sharpened my time management and organizational skills. To make the absolute most of my time abroad, I needed to prioritize my commitments, find a balance between academics and personal experiences, and learn to multitask effectively. Planning and organizing transportation, accommodations, and sightseeing required effective time management skills that will extend beyond my time overseas. Thankfully, these newly developed skills brought me to Venice, Cinque Terre, Pisa, Rome, and the Amalfi Coast.
Overall, this study abroad experience and all of the skills I’ve developed from it – communication, adaptability and flexibility, independence and self-reliance, time management, and organization – will be vital in my academics and professional career in the business world. I have genuinely enjoyed every minute of being in Florence and can’t even begin to process how I am supposed to leave in a few days. I am forever grateful to have experienced this unique and unforgettable time abroad!