This semester, two CCI students will be sharing their experiences studying abroad in Florence, Italy. Follow them on their journey as they deal with culture shock, language barriers, and a total lifestyle change.
By Latisha Ellison
I’ve known I wanted to travel and see the world for as long as I can remember. My sister saved for six years to take us to Paris for my high school graduation present and with a crêpe in hand, in awe at the Eiffel Tower, I was in love. Paris stole my heart, and I needed more.
One of the reasons I chose Kent State, besides its stellar public relations program, was for the Florence study abroad option. I wanted to see the world and what better way to do so than studying in one of the most artistic, culturally rich cities in the world?
Everyone always told me how cheap and easy it was to travel throughout Europe and only having class until noon on Thursday provides the perfect opportunity to travel on the weekends. Traveling is amazing, but it isn’t always rainbows and sunshine.
I never know what to expect when I embark on a new adventure, but I always hope for the best, which is exactly what I hoped for during our trip to Barcelona. Barcelona is a beautiful city known for pickpockets and even though I was warned, I fell victim to the thieves.
It happened on a crowded metro on our way to Parc Güell—one minute I had my IPhone, the next it was gone. I got off the metro, checked to see if I had a message, and my phone was nowhere to be found. Now, someone in this situation could have reacted in one of two ways: burst into tears and freak out, or remain calm and figure out what to do next; luckily I reacted like the latter.
I used my friend’s phone to call my service provider to suspend the service to the phone immediately. In hindsight, I should have tried to call my phone first, on the slight chance that someone actually just found it, but I didn’t think to do that until several hours later. Then, I texted my mom and sister to let them know the situation, so they wouldn’t worry when they tried to call me the next day for my birthday.
Like most millennials, I tend to have my phone attached to my hand, so the thought of not having a phone was a little stressful. Luckily, a friend from home had an extra phone and sent it to another friend’s parents who were visiting soon, and a new sim card was on the way—crisis averted.
I lost my phone, and the world kept turning. It’s not something I expected or wanted to happen, but it did and I had to deal with it. This is just another example of the ways being abroad is helping me grow into a functioning adult. In 10 years when I am talking about my trip, it will be a minor blip in the grand scheme of an amazing birthday weekend.
I was in Barcelona, the city of Antoni Gaudi and The Cheetah Girls stomping ground, there was no way I was letting the loss of a material object ruin my weekend!