Ciao from Roma

So what’s it like to live in a foreign country for four months you may ask? It is everything and more than you can ever imagine. I lived the real life version of the Lizzie McGuire movie. From traveling to seven different countries to eating homemade pasta made by my local friends, the least I can say is that I was living my best life.

 

If someone were to tell the freshman version of myself that I would study abroad in Rome for an entire semester, I would've never believed it. I was a scared 18-year old, fresh out of high school and afraid of going away to college. As soon as I arrived at Sacred Heart, I instantly fell in love with everything this school had to offer. I wanted to do as much as possible in what was going to be the best four years of my life. When the idea of possibly studying abroad in Italy struck me, I just had that feeling. That feeling you get in the pit of your stomach and that voice in your head screaming at you that you just need to do this.

 

I studied abroad in Rome, Italy from January 8 to May 5 2018. It was the most amazing experience of my life. Sometimes, I would forget that I was actually there for school (what do you mean I have to ACTUALLY study?!).

 

People will try and tell you how it is. They’ll describe the beautiful culture and tell you about the most amazing times they had there but no one can prepare you for the overwhelming, indescribable chill that runs through your body when the plane hits the ground in Italy. That is the exact moment it hits you that this foreign place is your new home for the next four months.

 

I’m not trying to convince anyone that my study abroad experience changed me into an entirely different person. It’s actually quite the opposite of that. My experience helped me evolve. I came back with a different outlook on life. I had always been a person that never liked change. I used to think that if something was working just fine, why change it? I used to believe that if something didn’t go exactly as I had planned, I was doomed. I used to think that the most important thing in my entire life was getting A’s and if I didn’t, I was a failure. My short-lived time in Europe not only helped me realize that there is so much more to life than getting an A in that random Italian elective, but more importantly, made me truly begin to love and accept the woman I am becoming.

 

Now, five months after my arrival back in the States, I can confidently say that this experience was the best I’ve ever had. When anyone asks me how it was or what my favorite place I visited was, it always, always, always brings back those feelings that I wish I could feel every day. They’re just those type of feelings that you need to experience on your own to know exactly what I am talking about. I made the most amazing memories and I thank God every day for giving me this life and all these amazing opportunities that some people can only dream of having.

 

To the friends I made along the way, all the beautiful cities across Europe that I was fortunate to experience, the delicious food I got to eat, my amazing parents that allowed to me travel across Europe and of course to my beautiful Roma, there are not enough thank yous in the world for you.