“You’re off to Great Places! Today is your day!” -Dr. Seuss
1. Never feel guilty for the amount of gelato you consume in a week, day, or hour. Seriously, eat all of it.
2. Missing your loved ones at home is totally normal AND definitely okay. You may feel bad because you are in another country and feel like you should be living it up, but being sad is a completely normal reaction to all of the changes you are going through.
3. To help yourself feel better on sad days take a walk and remember where you are. Whenever I was feeling really down and missing home I would walk over by the Colosseum and remember that I was living in Rome, and that made everything seem okay again.
4. Italian culture is beautiful, so respect it and learn to love it. Italians live much differently than Americans, but these differences are refreshing, so don’t forget to immerse yourself in what surrounds you.
5. DO NOT let schoolwork keep you from experiences. Go on a weekend trip when you should be studying, just do it.
6. Try not to get too worried about going everywhere. Don’t be so distracted by going to see every place that you forget to experience the city you are staying in.
7. On a similar note, LIVE in the city you are studying in. Don’t just stay there for the days you have class and then leave every weekend. Become a part of something either on campus or in your community and stick with it.
8. Public Transportation may seem intimidating at first, but at the end of the semester you will be able to navigate it like a pro. If you are like me and are coming from a small town to study in a big city, calm down. It will get easier every day.
9. You are capable of much more than you believe. I never imagined that I would be able to communicate briefly in multiple languages, or find my way around new cities, but I did it. Studying abroad taught me so much about who I am and what I can do.
10. There are so many options for you in the world and you shouldn’t try to limit them. Before I studied abroad my Junior year I thought I had my post-grad life all figured out. What I learned from studying abroad is that the world is big and there are endless opportunities. I have become more confident and have expanded my post grad opportunities. It’s refreshing to feel like you could do anything, anywhere.
Jasmyn is a current student at St. Norbert College studying at John Cabot University in Italy during the Sprig 2015 term.