Why Three Weeks is the Perfect Amount of Time to Study Abroad

Over winter break, the three of us had the opportunity to study abroad in Florence, Italy. Between experiencing a new culture, tasting some of the best food we’ve ever had, and forming a bond with unforgettable friends, to put it simply, we had the best time of our lives. Here’s our list of why studying abroad for three weeks is all you need.

1. Friendships
Three weeks is enough time to form friendships that will last a lifetime. Experiencing a whole new world together has its ups and downs (aka getting lost in the middle of Florence at 2:00 a.m.), but forms a bond like no other. We might not have been there with our best friends, but by the end of the trip it basically felt like it.

2. Food
Pizza, pasta, gelato and wine were our main food groups for three weeks. What could be better? After experiencing traditional Italian food, CK’s, Manning’s, and Franzia just doesn’t cut it anymore.

3. Class
While we were in Florence, we were fortunate enough to only take one class (another perk of staying for such a short amount of time). Our class allowed us to learn about the history of Florence that we wouldn’t have known otherwise, while giving us enough time to be adventurous on our own.

4. Traveling
From our experience in Italy, we learned that it was extremely easy to take the train just about anywhere in Europe. Whether it was a day trip to Venice or a weekend getaway to Rome, traveling while abroad allowed us to explore places we wouldn’t have otherwise had the chance to see.

5. No homesickness
Even though three weeks abroad seems like a long time, we never had the chance to think about missing home. Because we were constantly exploring, there was never enough time to miss our mom’s home cooked meals or our city’s sky lines because let’s be honest, we were in Italy where the food was amazing and the views were even better.

7. Sightseeing
There was so much to do and see all over Florence that we were always on the go. With such a short period of time, we made sure that we made the most of our experience. Whether it was climbing 463 steps to the top of the Duomo, shopping on the Ponte Vecchio, or taking a wine tour in Tuscany, we didn’t let a minute go to waste.

8. Home away from home
Walking up three flights of stairs to your quaint Italian apartment and getting winded every time. Home.

Taking two steps out of your apartment and seeing the Duomo. Home.

When the man in the local Café knows your morning order of cappuccinos and croissants. Home.

Wandering down the cobble stone streets at 3:00 a.m. wondering how this is real life. Home.

Falling in love with a city that we’re so lucky to have gotten the chance to visit. Home.

Florence, you have stolen our hearts and we are so thankful that we were able to call you home for three weeks.