To Italy and Back: A Study Abroad Experience

These words have been my response to every single person that has asked me about my trip to Italy, “Amazing, I loved it.” They sit there, and wait for a better answer, but how can someone possibly sum up the most remarkable month of his or her entire life?

When people told me I would want to go back the second I got home, it was an understatement. Even my dreams when I got home were taking place in Florence. It truly became our home while we were there, and it was only for a month.

I never thought I could adapt to a lifestyle so easily and love every second of it. From the hottest nights trying to sleep, to catching lizards in our room, to hanging our clothes out to dry, it was all worth the view of Piazza del Mercato and the Duomo in the distance from our window.

I don’t think anybody knows what it means to appreciate the world until you’re on top of it. In the peak of my life I hiked the tallest mountains in Cinque Terre, dangled in a chair to the top of Anacapri, bussed to the highest roads in Croatia, climbed to the top of the tower in Florence, and overlooked the city at Piazza Michelangelo.

Robyn Asaro, Assistant Director of Study Abroad, said, “Studying abroad  creates happy and grateful people.  Students are proud that they had the insight not to miss out on this experience.  They realize that these college years may be the one chance to live and learn abroad for a length of time.”

A junior, Ariana Tepedino, also studied in Italy through the University. “Trying to encompass all the wonder and excitement study abroad gave me is like trying to find a needle in a hay stack: utterly impossible,” said Tepedino. “I never thought of myself as near-sighted or naïve, but study abroad opened my eyes to the beauty and splendor the world has to offer. I departed as a shallow and insipid sophomore, and returned as an explorer; as an individual who yearned for the culture and history of foreign lands.”

On the water of Venice and in the midst of tourists in the history of Rome, in the waterfalls of Krka, I never failed to think, “I’m on top of the world.” Everyone probably has a different idea of what they consider the top to be, but you won’t find out until you get to it yourself, and I did.

PHOTO COURTESY of Casey AlloccoA