On the last night of my study abroad, I sat with my friends in our hotel lobby, and we talked about all the things we had learned and experienced in our time together. We had visited 15 cities and 5 countries in 3 weeks, and our favorite memories consisted of climbing a mountain and cliff jumping in Dubrovnik, venturing the alleys of Venice, walking alongside the ocean in Opatija, exploring the leather market in Florence, and seeing the Vatican. We laughed about all the inside jokes we had made and all the stories we had shared from our lives at home. Most of all, we just enjoyed the last few hours we had together before we would fly back to our homes for the remainder of the Summer.

If I could give any advice to prepare for a study abroad, I would say be extremely open-minded to making new friends and do everything you can to keep up with them once the study abroad is over. Going into this study abroad, I knew almost nobody. However, now that it is over, I know that I have so many friends I’ll get to catch up with when we go back to Tuscaloosa in the Fall. This study abroad was such an amazing opportunity for me, as it not only allowed me to expand my network with professors across the world, but it also enabled me to meet so many amazing people that I might otherwise never have met.  

That is why, at the end of everything, I wouldn’t advise saying goodbye, but see you later. Not only to the people you meet, but to the places you go. You never know when you’ll run into the friends you made abroad, or when you’ll get the chance to go back to your favorite places where you once studied for a summer.