Pre-departure Blog for Italy!!

Hi everyone, my name is Karen Rodriguez and I am currently a senior at the University of South Florida. Ever since I was a little girl I have always wanted to study abroad that’s why it when I was offered the opportunity through the Florence program I could not pass it up. I have spent a total of one day in Italy and I am already so happy with my decision. Before leaving for Italy, I was very nervous because I had never been out of the country by myself and especially for this long of a time. Thankfully, I met a lot of the students coming on the trip before leaving for Italy and I was able to feel more comfortable and less scared about potentially not having any friends and being alone. If you are planning on traveling abroad and not having anyone to do it with you is a concern, don’t even worry about that. Everyone is so friendly that it is easy to make several friends!

Another concern I had before leaving for Italy was packing because I had never been out of the country for so long and I was not sure what to pack and to be honest I am pretty sure I overpacked. Also, I was scared of forgetting something that was important for my trip back at home. However, I learned that in the end it does not matter whether you overpack or underpack because if anything you can buy clothes here (there is a lot of beautiful stores) or if you overpack, you have a lot of options of things to wear, which is never a bad thing. In addition, one thing that helped me not forget anything important was starting to pack early that way as the days passed whenever I remembered something I forgot to pack I would write it down on my notes and I had a check list of everything that I needed to add to my luggage because it is so easy to forget anything!

As far as my flight, everything went well and I made a lot of new friends just in the airport! I will insert a few pictures of us and the yummy plane food that we received on our flight! Overall, pre departure week is very stressful because you are running around trying not to forget anything and it seems each day you need to purchase a new thing you might need for your stay. However, it is all worth it in the end becasue once you settle down in your study abroad destination wherever that may be, you will see that all the stress is trivial compared to the beauty and the path up ahead!

The friends I met at the airport right before leaving Miami!
Our yummy dinner on the plane!
Our view of Switzerladnd.
The view from my room in Florence that makes all the stress worh it!

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