Going to Italy for seven weeks was an amazing, and life changing experience for me.
I’ve never been to Europe before, so I think I got a lot out of the program especially for that reason. Europe is in the West, but it still is a very different experience from being in the United States. I learned a lot about different cultures and religions through various courses but seeing another way of living forces you to grow.
After going to Italy, I have become much more independent. Having to make plans on where to go and meeting new people can be stressful, but it also is a great way to gain confidence and independence. Now I don’t have much of an issue meeting new people or taking the bus (I used to be afraid that I didn’t know where I was going.)
Seeing another culture can also help you reinforce what is important for you. I feel that since I have come back, I have developed a more solid framework of how I think of the world. My morality is more established, as it were. I was able to go to another place and really gauge if how I was acting was something I really valued or not.
Italy also taught me to appreciate food. I already loved food before I left, but just the other day I found myself purchasing so many more healthy foods and thinking of meals I could make. You can make so much delicious food right from home, and I feel I now have the skill to do that. I also now really love ice cream, I can’t get enough of it.
I miss Italy, and I know that I will have to go back one day. I hope that I can encourage other people to travel, you really do come back a different person.