One of my favorite parts about being in Italy was the ability to travel all over the country in just a few hours. My friends and I visited Florence, Venice, Como, Rimini, and Cinque Terre on the weekends just by taking a train. Venice, the place where my picture was taken, was almost surreal. Not only were the buildings themselves beautiful, the fact that there were canals instead of streets made the city seem all the more magical. Not to mention that the people I was with became my close friends.
I realized how much I liked Italian culture on this trip, so I actually signed up for more Italian classes to fulfill an Italian major while I was studying in Bologna. Bologna is a decently tourist-free city, so I felt that I was really immersed in Italian culture. By stepping out of my comfort zone and initiating conversations with Italians or even trying to play sports while in Bologna, I was able to connect with other people and broaden my view of the world. I would like to return to Italy soon, either for an internship or to work after college.
My advice for anyone studying abroad would be to push the boundaries of your comfort zone and interact with natives. It not only makes your experience more enjoyable, but may open you up to opportunities that you otherwise would not have known existed.
Class of 2021, Environmental Sciences and Policy, Biology