I have never worked harder for anything in my life like I did for this study abroad trip. I spent a year doing scholarship applications, working at my work-study job everyday, and helping my siblings with anything for a couple bucks. I had several departure meetings at school and interviews to prepare for this amazing trip.
Fast forward to January 24th and I find myself in a different country not knowing the language, people, or food. That’s when it hit me. I had made a huge mistake. How was a first-generation student going to survive four months on the other side of the world? I started thinking of everything back home I found comfort in. I already knew my favorite places to eat, who to hang out with, and the simplest of things like finding my way home.
My first day was filled with what-ifs. In just one week all of my doubts disappeared.
Since arriving, I have tackled Italian department and grocery stores. I have enjoyed Italian nightlife and legal drinking (drink responsibly!). I have experienced a new way of dining and I have become a regular at my neighborhood pizzeria. I have consumed an obscene amount of gelato and pasta. I have gotten lost more times in one day than I ever have in my lifetime. I have walked to school for the first time. I have used currency that I was not familiar with. I have learned to appreciate a new way of doing things. The list goes on.
It has only been seven days and I am sure that this is what I wanted to do. I have no dout that this study abroad experience will make me grow and appreciate the world so much more than if I would’ve stayed back in the U.S. I am so excited to experience more of Florence and the wonderful things that come with it.
Nancy is spring 2017 Colorado State University student at Florence University of the Arts.