Studying abroad and living with complete strangers in a foreign country can sound intimidating, and trust me it is, but don’t let that fear hold you back. Personally, I’ve dreamed about studying abroad since I was a freshman in high school back in 2016. Here I am in 2023 living out that dream and making my younger self proud. Through SAI I was able to find the perfect city that I knew would give me the best experience.
Here in Sorrento, Italy, I get to live with six other girls who all have the same passion of traveling. As someone who has never had to share a room with someone(not even at college), this was an unknown realm for me. However, I couldn’t be more thankful for these girls and the places we’ve been to together. So far I’ve traveled to Rome, Naples, Florence, Barcelona, and Geneva and it’s only been six weeks. For anyone worried about balancing school and travel here or not knowing if you’ll have enough time to travel, you definitely will and it’s all very doable. Everything here is an adjustment and it takes time to get your bearings and get your routine down.
One thing that’s been a struggle is the fact that leading up to my semester everyone said travel within Europe is super cheap and easy, and while that may be true for some, that hasn’t really been the case for my friends and I. Our Italian contacts here have said that prices are at an all time high and they’ve never seen it this bad. I think that is definitely something to keep in mind when coming over here and picking a city, because I know my roommates and I weren’t fully prepared for that. With that being said, a pro to this issue is that we’ve been budgeting our money more. We try to pick places that we really want to see instead of other cities we may not be as passionate about just because it would be cheaper.
Just from the five cities I’ve been to so far, I’ve made unforgettable memories that I’ll cherish for the rest of my life. From navigating the train stations and airports, to sightseeing and witnessing stunning architecture, and everything in between, each trip has been such a fun time. One thing my roommate’s mentioned throughout our time here is that when she’s 50 and thinking about her time abroad, she doesn’t want to have any regrets. I think this is a great perspective to have because we’re only going to be 19-21 living in Italy once. These first two months here have been so amazing and I can’t wait to see what the next two have in store for me. Time really does fly when you’re having fun because I can’t understand how I’m halfway done with this semester, and I’m not ready to go home because I’m currently living my best life!
Grace is currently studying abroad in Sorrento at Sant’Anna Institute from Missouri State University.