Remembering the Happy Moments
Hannah, Spring 2020, Florence
May 5, 2020

We asked our Spring 2020 bloggers to reflect on their experience with the global COVID-19 outbreak while they were abroad. 

Although the situation of studying abroad in Florence did not go as planned, there are many aspects of my trip that I can learn from and value for the rest of my life. One of the main aspects of life that I have grown in during this crazy study abroad experience is to simply go with the flow and be willing to be flexible at all times. There are too many moments to count when the plans that I made got changed, so I was constantly being stretched to hold things loosely and be willing to have a positive spirit amidst the change and tough times.

A picture of myself right outside my apartment overlooking the Ponte Vecchio and Arno River!

I think that it is important to remember the positive and happy moments of my study abroad experience, instead of focusing on the stressful last few days. I push myself to be grateful for the experience and time that I had, instead of staying in a bummed state that it ended so quickly. I know that this very global pandemic is way bigger than me and other people are experiencing way worse conditions. I mean heck, when I found out I had to leave Italy, I was worried about whether I should go to Germany or Portugal before I had to go back to the States. I was so lucky!

My friends and I on the last weekend that we got to travel!

Some of the happiest aspects of my five-week studying abroad experience was:

  • Getting to know my lovely six housemates, who I became quick friends with
  • Being able to travel to six new countries overall !!!
  • Meeting and becoming friends with a couple of local Italians
  • Seeing tons of beautiful art pieces and architecture
  • Eating phenomenal new local food every time I went out to eat
  • Being able to learn all about the Italian culture and way of life

This is a page in my travel journal!

Coming home I have found it is soothing to my soul to work on my travel journal. I’ve been taping in momentos that I held onto throughout my journey and writing down all the various experiences I never want to forget. I am documenting those sweet memories so that I can look back on this time for the rest of my life and be stoked about all the things I got to experience during this adventure of studying abroad my sophomore year of college.

Hannah is a Spring 2020 Florence student from Point Loma Nazarene University.

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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.