I had mixed feeling about coming back home. I have been home for a little over a month at this point. When I first arrived at the airport, and saw my parents waiting to pick me up, I was so excited to see them. On the other hand, I was sad that my study abroad experience was over. I miss all my friends I made abroad and Italy in general. I do not really have any reverse culture shock at this point. I am happy to be back at Alabama and starting my junior year of college. The best advice I can give to future study abroad students is to keep an open mind when going abroad. Going to a new country can be scary and intimidating, but it is so so worth it. I would encourage anyone going to non-English speaking country to try and learn the basics of the new language as much as you can. It will help tremendously when you get there. Traveling while abroad can enhance your experience so much too. I traveled almost every weekend and would 100% recommend if you are able. I even did some solo traveling. It was scary at first, but I learned a lot about myself in the process. Studying abroad was one of the best decisions I ever made. I met so many new people, visited many new places, all while taking classes that easily transferred back to Alabama. For anyone who is considering it, studying abroad is definitely a choice you will not regret.

– Sammy Hiebsch