An Everyday Adventure
Collin, Spring 2024, Rome
March 14, 2024

Venice – taken from the main bridge overlooking the canals  

Choosing to study abroad, leaving your university to live and study in a foreign country, represents the beginning of not just an adventure but the desire for discoveries. Leaping to embark on an experience full of unknowns, is more than just a want to travel but rather it embodies an aspiration to find the vibrancy of life regardless of the difficulties. As I was thinking about what I wanted to say and express in this blog post, I knew that I wanted to highlight not only my time abroad but also the impact it has had on my outlook towards new challenges.

This photo was taken in a small town on Lake Como

I would say that I’ve always been one to want to try new things whether it be foods, traditions, or different ideas. The thought of experiencing something new has always been exciting. This has undoubtedly been the case during my time abroad. I’ve traveled to numerous countries, immersed myself in different cultures, and spoken with people from all different backgrounds and nationalities. I’ve had the opportunity to see incredible art, architecture, and natural landscapes. Throughout all these incredible sights and experiences that I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of, what has been the most rewarding is the new outlook that it gives you. You begin to not only appreciate these moments of discovery but wish to seek them out.

This photo was taken from the steps of Castelo de São Jorge in Lisbon

My decision to study abroad unfolded through the continuation of my studies. As an Italian minor pursuing a second major that required a semester abroad, I decided to study in Italy. While I had set out places that I wanted to visit and goals for the semester, such as continuing to learn Italian, what I had not planned on was setting out to do more small things. Over time after being here, however, I began to appreciate finding new shops and restaurants or hidden sights popular with locals. I started to search and plan to do something different every day. Although sometimes this involved more grandiose travel plans, such as seeing a famous landmark, other times it was simply doing something slightly different from what I did the day before.

La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona

I believe that the true value of studying abroad is that it endows you with a sense of adventure both grand and small. It begins what is a lifelong commitment to finding the unusual. Don’t get me wrong, seeing the impressive and setting lofty travel goals are important, but I think their importance – the same importance of studying abroad – is that they leave you with a desire to find your everyday adventure.

Written by: Collin, Spring 2024 student in Rome from University of Tennessee, Knoxville

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