Last fall 2023 I heard about a scholarship opportunity to study abroad in Italy. I figured that it was a long shot of me ever winning this scholarship but in life we miss every shot that we don’t take. I had always had dreams of traveling the world and seeing everything that it had to offer. Being one of the Roll Tide WorldWide recipients made that dream a reality. I wanted to explore a new culture and learn a new language, because I feel like one way to help unite others from different parts of the world is to experience their culture and learn their language.

Before departure to cover the distance, I had worked and saved to help prepare for my month abroad. During that time I practiced my Italian, researched customs, and learned about popular foods. I also asked help from friends who had been abroad to Italy on their experience and some of their do’s and don’ts.

Aside from normal clothes and bathroom essentials, optimism and curiosity are the biggest things I am bringing with me. This is my first time traveling to Europe and I know there will be a great deal of culture shock. I know that there are some things that I wont understand and the biggest thing that I want to do is to be a sponge to the differences that I experience. Even if I feel that some might be extremely different, I want to look for a silver lining in whatever I encounter next.

On my ending thought, as someone who has traveled abroad before I want to say that the one thing that has me the most prepared is not even a thing at all, it’s a person, who just happens to be my mom. She is the one who has always kept me open to explore new opportunities and be open to the world around me. If there is one thing that I can rely on it is her. I encourage anyone and everyone who goes abroad to have someone who can, at the very least, support your spiritually before going abroad. Because I believe it will be fundamental in your time of need.