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 Charleah Trombitas
Preparing to study abroad in another county is a long and serious process. I chose to spend the fall semester of my junior year at Kent State studying in Florence, Italy. After I was accepted to the program in the spring, preparations immediately began. Making sure everything was squared away at home and I had everything I needed for four months in another country was a big stressor to say the least. The most challenging part pre-departure was the rush of emotion I was constantly feeling. I found myself frequently wondering if I had made the right decision. What if I don’t like Italy? What if it’s not all it’s cracked up to be? Those thoughts, combined with teary-eyed departures from friends and family in the days leading up to me leaving, made for more than a few breakdowns.
The day was here. It was time to get on a plane and start a new journey, and I was more than ready. Excitement rushed through me as I thought about all of the experiences I would have over the next four months. I said my final goodbyes to loved ones, checked my suitcase for anything I had forgotten a few more times, and boarded my flight. The feeling on the plane was something I have never experienced before. I knew, in that moment, that I was leaving the country bound to return a different person. After many tiring hours of flying and waiting, I arrived safely in the place I would be calling home for an entire semester.
The adrenaline in my body was rushing through my veins as I stepped outside of the airport in Florence, Italy. I couldn’t wait to see more of the town and settle in to my apartment. On the cab ride to my apartment, I cried tears of joy thinking about how lucky I was to embark on this adventure. Though it was an emotional ride, the tears quickly dried when I found out we did not know how to get in to our apartment. After about an hour of worry and problem solving, a kind neighbor showed us how to correctly turn the key to unlock the door (this may sound silly, but locks are much different in Italy). Our first problem had been faced and solved, and from that moment on, I knew I was exactly where I was meant to be.