Making friends with people outside of my study abroad group was both challenging and rewarding. During my first couple of times shopping for fresh fruits and vegetables, I wasn’t sure of what was the best way to take advantage of what I was buying. For this reason, I decided to reach out to a local who was shopping at the same time as me at Mercato Centrale Firenze. After talking for a couple of minutes, I learned that she was a local student in Florence and had been living in the city for a couple of months. I decided to invite her to cook dinner with me that week. Getting to know her taught me much about managing a healthy lifestyle while still being a student and maximizing my experience while in Florence. She pointed out the main areas of attraction to visit during my study abroad trip and even invited me to some of the activities she was participating in throughout the week!
If you study abroad, I definitely recommend reaching out to those around you, literally! As long as you are respectful, it is a great learning opportunity and chance to make friends you cannot make at home!