Returning to the airport marked the end of an incredible program, and I couldn’t believe this experience was over. While I was excited to see my family again, part of me wished I could spend more time in Europe because I had such a fantastic time. Surprisingly, when I got to the airport, I felt like I wasn’t ready to leave Rome. Then, all of a sudden, my flight was canceled, giving me an extra day in this beautiful city. It was wonderful to spend this extra day with five other students from my program who were on the same flight. Even though some of them felt devastated by the cancellation, it brought us closer together as we had the opportunity to learn more about each other. 

Participating in this study abroad program has been truly life changing. Not only did I travel to many captivating places, but I also got to share these experiences with a fantastic group of people. The friendships I made and the daily activities we enjoyed together were highlights of the trip. Additionally, the professors were incredibly supportive, ensuring everyone was doing well and making the most of the experience.

For future students considering study abroad, here are a few recommendations: Pack lightly. Despite multiple reminders from our professors, I underestimated the difficulty of traveling with heavy luggage. Especially in Italy, where train travel and stairs are common, keeping luggage small and easy to carry is crucial. Remember, you’ll likely buy souvenirs, so leave space for those purchases. Use laundry services, as many places offer them, so pack accordingly and take advantage of these amenities. Remember to study for exams, even while having fun. It’s important to prioritize academics even while traveling. Don’t hesitate to connect with others in your program. Many students are in the same boat, and building friendships enhances the experience. Plan and book activities in advance. Research the cities you’ll visit and book activities ahead of time, especially during the busy summer season. Websites like Get Your Guide and Viator were very reliable for me. Lastly, reach out to fellow students in your program before departure. Many who did this felt more comfortable once the trip began.

Participating in this program was a wonderful decision, and I highly recommend it to anyone considering studying abroad. It was a unique blend of learning, experiencing new cultures, and personal growth.