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 Samantha Meisenburg, ’18
Ciao tutti (Hi everyone),
When I was picking a place to study abroad I wanted to study in a place that was in a central location that would allow me to travel to neighboring countries. Italy is in the perfect location to do major traveling because it’s close to many European and Northern African countries. This allows traveling to be easy and cost effective.
Over the past two months I’ve been to 12 cities and six countries. Some of those cities include Rome, Venice, Vienna, Budapest, Monte-Carlo and London. For the rest of the semester I plan on traveling to other cities, such as Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris and Barcelona.
Italy is a great country and there is so much to do and see, but it is nice getting out of the country every once in a while. Going to different countries and seeing their way of life compared to the states and Florence is a unique experience. I’ve been to Austria where people eat a lot of meat and speak German, and London that is known for its fish and chips and English speaking. Experiencing different languages, food and culture has allowed me to expand the way to life, as I know it in the states.
Despite all this traveling I’ve done, it is not as glamorous as it sounds. Getting to and from airports and hostels and maneuvering around countries without Internet service on my phone in non-English speaking countries has been a little stressful. But the stress is belittled once I arrive to my destination and see the sights that I want to see and eat the traditional cuisine.
Another lesson that I’ve learned from this experience is to travel as much as possible, even if that means you are alone. If there is a city that you want to visit but no one wants to go with you, book the trip anyway. That is what I did when I went to the French Rivera. I went to four beautiful cities with breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea that I wouldn’t have gotten to see if I didn’t book this trip by myself. I rather have the stress and anxiousness of traveling alone than the regret of not seeing a city because I was too scared of being alone.
With that, I leave you with a quote that sums up my traveling experience so far: “In the end we only regret the chances we didn’t take.” – Lewis Carroll