Italy is beautiful, even more beautiful than I thought. I am enjoying living with my Italian mother, Anastasia. I was worried about living with an Italian family because I thought it might be awkward, but she is wonderful, hospitable, and so kind to both me and my housemates. Learning a language abroad is much more difficult than I imagined. Before I got here, I romanticized the experience and thought about how cool it would be to become fluent in Italian. Now that I am in the midst of things, I’m realizing that becoming fluent in a language is exhausting, difficult, but so rewarding. Each day when I can form a new sentence or make a connection with a local shop owner, I feel so proud of how far I have come.

I love the classes that I am taking and my Italian teachers. Although I attend class nine to twelve everyday, the class goes by quickly because it is interactive and the teacher engages us in conversation about current events. In the afternoon, the group usually has a museum tour or culture activity and then I go running. Running in Italy is by far my favorite way to see the city. I’ve discovered local hangouts, a food truck park, and gorgeous gardens. At night my Italian mother cooks dinner and then we usually study or hang out at a local cafe before sleeping. I will be extremely sad to leave Italy and I am not looking forward to the day I say goodbye!