What was your favorite thing to do in your host city?
There were so many things I loved doing while I was in Florence. Each and every day brought a handful of new adventures, all of them being so unique and exciting. Reflecting back on the many things I did in my host city, my favorite one was hiking up to the top of the Piazzale Michelangelo to listen to live music from a local musician and watch the sunset. You get to experience a view of the entire city of Florence unlike any other, it just takes your breath away. It is so peaceful and calming that the best way to describe how it makes you feel is pure magic. It really is one of those special moments that remind you how lucky you are to be where you are in life.
What has your experience abroad taught you about the world?
My experience abroad has taught me that the world we live in is such a beautiful and unique place and there are always things to appreciate in life no matter what part of the world I am in. My experience abroad has taught me to not take for granted the opportunities that come my way in life, and to give thanks to those who help me succeed in achieving my dreams. Studying abroad has taught me that getting out of my comfort zone allows me to accomplish things I never thought that I could. Lastly, my experience abroad has taught me to always dive first into taking risks, because it is those things that allow me to truly feel alive.
What advice do you have for new study abroad students?
Just do it!! Go abroad. Live in a new and foreign environment. Meet people from around the world that you would have never gotten the chance to meet elsewhere. Get lost. Try foods you’ve never eaten before. Don’t be afraid to fail. Experience academics in a different way. Discover yourself. Put any fears you may have completely aside and make every single moment count. Spend too much money on gelato because it’s that good. Celebrate a holiday in a different country. Become more independent. Have the time of your life! Your time abroad will fly by in the blink of an eye and making every day, even the tough ones, like it is your last will allow you to cherish all of your experiences so much more!
Emma was a Spring 2019 Florence student from the University of Mississippi.