As my semester abroad is coming to a close, I am finding it hard to believe that it’s actually over. Living in Italy for the past four months has been both what I expected it to be and completely not. I have been pleasantly surprised by some things and slightly disappointed by others, but it has all been a part of my experience abroad and I wouldn’t change any of that.
Living abroad brought about both many blessings and challenges over the course of the semester. I feel that―as cliche as it is to say―it’s definitely changed me as a person. Over the last four months, I have become much more independent and sure of myself. Part of this is due to the environment of the big city and the other is due to the people I have met during my stay here. At my university, they offered a program that set up study abroad students with “adoptive” host families. My host family has been beyond incredible this entire semester; they have treated me with such kindness and welcoming hearts that I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.
Although I am so thankful for this opportunity and will miss Italy with all my heart, I am excited to be heading back home. Four months abroad felt like the perfect amount of time to spend in another country―it was long enough that I felt I was able to truly become one with the culture of Italy, but it wasn’t too long that I got overly homesick. Because this was my first time out of the country, I was slightly worried that I would miss home too much. However, instead, I found that while my experience abroad made me more aware of the blessings I have back home in the United States it also showed me how many other wonderful places there are in this world. The semester is just coming to a close, and I am already planning my next trip abroad because the experience was so incredible.