Four weeks in a land abroad. Gone. Past. In ┬áthe blink of an eye. Crazy, huh? I’ve had months to mentally prepare for it, weeks to physically prepare, days to pack, and full of excitement during this whole process. Yet, I wasn’t prepared to leave it. Studying in Florence flew by, and looking back, there was so much I saw, experienced, and ate, but it just wasn’t enough! I’m so glad to have taken advantage of every opportunity and every outing the program offered, even if it meant putting off a nap to reenergize. One of the very first things I have heard about studying abroad is not to take a nap after classes, but to power through and just walk, just visit, and just experience. That’s exactly what should be done, sleeping can come later. I truly feel like I experienced Italy and its culture, but I’m already ready for more!

Besides having learned Italian and finishing my Italian minor, I have learned how to cook pasta from scratch (and I mean making the noodles, too!), how to taste wine, what gelato flavors are best (anything Nutella and creme of whiskey), how Florentine steak tastes, how beautiful Italian cathedrals and churches are, much history about art and people, that there are multiple delicious courses when eating, how glass blowing is performed, how limoncello tastes, and how to live it up in Italy amongst so much more!

There’s just too many students who claim that there just isn’t enough time to study abroad. However, THIS is the time! College is the most flexible time to realize who you are and take on many new experiences. Once this time passes, the real world will keep us too busy and even stressed to consider traveling. I was one of those students who was on the verge of letting this experience slide between my fingers for the sake of time and money. I could not be happier about following through with the promise I made myself in elementary school! Time and money will hardly change to both be flexible at any point later in life, and then there will always be new obstacles to arise. My time in Florence was well worth everything! I have experienced, I have lived, and I have grown.