The last adventures of Florence have quickly come to an end. In the blink of an eye, our 3 and a half months are over. I will be forever grateful for this opportunity; for the things I have learned, places I’ve seen, people I have met. As I sat on the train, at the airport and eventually on the plane I had a huge amount of time to reflect on the semester.
Going into the semester and leaving the country might have been the most scared I have ever been in my life. As soon as I landed in Rome I had a moment of “Oh my God what did I actually get myself into, there is no turning back.” I realized I was now over 4,000 miles away from any sense of comfort I had at home. I was now fully dependent on myself. This moment quickly passed when I first saw the beauty that was Florence. It was funny that in such a new place I was comfortable within a few days.
Comfort like I said came about so easily. Within days my roommates and I had all formed a close friendship, and I began making friends with people in my classes. Comfort came about through routine also. I found that it was important to live life during the week to as much as a routine as possible. Everyday I was blessed with a beautiful walk to class. I walked by the Duomo every morning and everyday it still managed to take my breath away. I would be lying if I said I did not tear up multiple times the last week walking by the Duomo and realizing that this walk would no longer be my routine.
My routine involved classes, outside school work, and exploring. The balance of all three of those things made my experience a well-rounded beneficial experience. I not only learned so much inside the classroom but I learned so much about myself and the world outside of the classroom. I went to dozens of museums around Europe that I never dreamed I would see. This semester brought about some of the hardest classes I have ever taken. That brings me to another point. I have accomplished seeing so much that the world has to offer this semester. I have experienced dozens of different cultures and customs. Met people from all around the world. Tasted all different kinds of food. Observed art I have spent hours studying and writing papers on.
Traveling during my semester abroad was such an incredible experience that I was blessed enough to be able to do. During my three and a half months I was able to visit nine countries and nineteen cities. I experienced a large amount Europe and their vastly different countries. Each city held a new adventure, new places, and a new atmosphere. I was blessed with wonderful traveling experiences while there were hiccups in the road there was never anything major that could not have been solved within a few minutes. I am grateful for the multiple modes of transportation that made these trips possible.
There are so many people I owe for making this semester happen and making this semester great. A thank you to my parents for encouraging me and allowing me to take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity. My friends from Marymount and home for not encouraging but telling me to do this. Thank you to Marymount’s wonderful study abroad staff for helping me figure everything out. Thank you to the many friends I have made during my time abroad. We all might be hundreds of miles away from each other, and it might be months, years, or we may never see each other again but we all have made an impact in each others’ lives.