Adjusting to Life Abroad
Dolores, Florence, Fall 2019
September 16, 2019

Taking in the beauty of the Duomo from up close.

A little over two weeks ago, I packed my bags, left my home, family, and friends to embark on the journey of a lifetime. I had no idea what to expect but I have always known that I wanted to study abroad. From the moment I stepped off the plane when we landed in Florence, I knew I was going to love it here.

My roommate and I exploring Florence and the beautiful Santa Croce.

I won’t lie and say that I wasn’t nervous. Of course, I was nervous to leave my friends and love ones behind but I was so excited for this new journey. If there is one major piece of advice I have, it is to study abroad not knowing anyone in your program. I did not know a single person before arriving here and now, two weeks later, I have already formed amazing friendships. Everyone is in the same boat with wanting to make friends. So don’t be afraid and put yourself out there because you never know, you may meet several lifelong friends while your abroad.

Watching the sunset from the Piazzale Michelangelo

On the other hand, it is ok to miss everyone from home. That is perfectly normal and it is all part of the adjusting process. A few things that helped me adjust quickly was making sure I was sleeping at the correct time in Italy and not thinking about what time it was at home. Also, go out and explore your host city! I try to be outside most of the day whether it is grabbing lunch by the Duomo, checking out the markets or watching the sunset at the Piazzale Michelangelo. The weekends fill up very quickly with travel plans so make sure to take the time during the week to enjoy and soak in your host city.

Enjoying my first time trying Pici pasta. It was amazing.

I can’t believe I have already been here for two weeks. The time is flying by so make the most of every moment and enjoy your surroundings because you are experiencing the semester of a lifetime!

Soaking in the view of the Arno River and the Ponte Vecchio.

Dolores is a fall 2019 Florence student from the University of Missouri.

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About SAI

SAI is dedicated to providing academic and cultural learning experiences abroad that enhance global awareness, professional development and social responsibility. We concentrate our programs in Europe, with a focus on in-depth learning of individual European countries and their unique global role in the geopolitical economy, humanities, and in the arts.