Final Thoughts From A Life Changing Experience


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  

As my time in Florence winds down, I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on the experience.  It has been the quickest and most amazing four months of my life and I have learned so much about myself. Taking a step out of your comfort zone in such a large way, like living in another country, pushes you to realize how strong you truly are. On the first day in Florence I was so worried about being able to figure everything out and make it through the next four months.

Though exploring a new country on your own with your friends may not be the same thing as an internship or class, it teaches you to solve problems and make quick decisions. I never realized how independent I could be until I was on my own in another country. I gained confidence in knowing I could take care of whatever life was going to throw at me. I got sick in Italy and then I found the doctor and went through the process of getting medicine.

I had business that needed taken care of in America and I figured out how to get everything sorted out from Italy. I dealt with everything that came my way and still managed to have the best four months I could have imagined.

Studying abroad, for me, has been a constant push and pull. Though I’m living and taking classes in Italy, I still have family, friends, and responsibilities in America. Tying in my current life with my life at home was, at times, challenging. The time difference and things like the shaky Wi-Fi were a hindrance. Beyond trying to keep up with both of my lives, I have spent time on trying to connect them.

From the day I left, I knew my trip had a time stamp. Instead of being sad I would have to leave, I tried to imprint in my mind how I felt in a certain moment or how I dealt with a problem. Those are things, no matter where I am, that will continue to change my life forever. I have been grateful to enjoy such an amazing experience in Florence and all over Europe and I will be bringing home a lot more than souvenirs.


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