Today I leave for Florence, Italy, for one of the most exciting trips of my life. During the weekdays, I will be studying Italian to complete my Italian minor, and on weekends, I will be travelling around Italy and learning about the culture of my Italian roots. I plan to travel to Rome, Pisa, Pompeii, and maybe see southern Italy or the Amalfi coast. I have prepared some small gifts for my host family that I hope they will enjoy, such as a small Big Al stuffed animal and some Tastykakes. I’m really looking forward to meeting my host family and making new friends at the international school, even though language barriers will definitely be a problem.

Despite all there is to look forward to, I would not describe my current feelings as excitement but rather as nervousness and anxiousness. Will my travel experience go smoothly? Will I be able to find a taxi when I arrive? Will I be able to get rid of the jetlag in time for classes? Deep down, I know I’ll be fine, but that doesn’t stop me from feeling nervous regardless.

I’m definitely grateful for the opportunity to experience Italy for a month, and I’m excited for all that the program has planned for me. My goals for this trip are to improve my ability to speak and listen to others in Italian, and to hopefully stop somewhere and experience a European soccer match.