So, today is the day that I depart to Italy. There are so many emotions and thoughts racing through my head, I can barely describe how I feel. I guess excited is the biggest one. I am nervous, anxious, and scared, but I am also happy, curious, and excited that I am going to Milan, Italy. I packed all of my life into two bags and a backpack, which is harder than it looks. However, I will be prepared for anything that comes my way. In Milan, they do not start their classes until the last week of February, so it was a little weird watching friends and family head back to UA while I stayed behind. However, this gave me more time to not only save money to go, but also change my exercise habits (walk 3 miles a day minimum), practice basic vocab (recommend to know directions, food, emergency services, as well as introductions), and to prepare myself for a new culture and experience.
When people ask me why I chose Italy, I think back to my great-grandmother and her family leaving Italy in the 1920’s, looking to America as their new world. I would hear stories from her describing what she and her family would experience being new immigrants in America. I had this curiosity about visiting Italy and the country that she grew up in. It was one of the reasons I decided to minor in Italian.
My goals for Italy are to learn a better understanding of not just the language, but of the people as well. There is only so much a classroom and textbook can teach you before they can’t teach you anything else. I would love to meet new friends and have full conversations in Italian with them.