It is amazing to me that more than 3 months have passed since I first arrived in Italy. The semester has FLOWN by! But that isn’t to say it hasn’t been filled with some of the best experiences of my life. As I am beginning to pack all of my things and leave Siena tomorrow for another few weeks of traveling, all I keep wishing for is a little bit more time. There are so many things that I wish I could do one last time or places that I want to see that I know that I won’t have time for. But then I realize, this all just means I will have to come back one day!
I have loved living in Italy and accepting a slower pace of life. I am amazed that I have gone a whole semester without using my Google Calendar and I have lived without having internet everywhere that I go. Although I have lived on my own for many years, it is rewarding to know that I was able to get by on my own in a new country and that when coming here, I didn’t even know the language.
I have also loved living with my host family and I do not want to have to say goodbye. Unfortunately this morning, the time came as they packed up to fly to the States to visit a previous student. My host brother Alberto started crying right after he woke up. It was so touching to realize that I am truly a part of their family. Luckily, thanks to the internet we will stay connected but it won’t be the same as coming home to play with Alberto before dinner. I have learned so much from them about the Italian lifestyle and I can’t wait to try making Italian Lentil Soup and Pinenut Cake when I go back home!
Although it is sad to be leaving Siena, I am so grateful for all of the experiences I have had, the people I have met and am ready to start the next chapter of my life. I know tomorrow, as I take my last bus to Rome, I will be crying the whole way, but then tomorrow I am also on to my way to my next adventure!
Julie is a student at University of Minnesota, Rochester studying at Siena Italian Studies in Italy during the Spring 2014 term.