For the past 10 days, I have soaked up everything I could from my trip to Italia. My family stopped in Roma, Firenze, Montepulciano, and Venezia (Rome, Florence, part of Siena, and Venice). We explored the great Coloseum, biked the hills of Tuscany, and learned about the great Medici family. I fell in love with the winding streets of Firenze and the rich history of Roma. These cities had so much to offer, so I was barely able to touch the surface on my short ten-day trip.
I’ve always known I’ve wanted to study abroad, but I didn’t understand how much so until I ventured over to these Italian provinces. I’ve been lucky enough to travel outside of the country before, but this was perhaps one of the few trips that truly convinced me of my future plans. My family made it our goal to stay in less-touristy locations, and eat with the locals at family trattorias so to enjoy the full experience of Italy instead of what we see traditionally as Americans. Particularly in Roma, there was a deep and long-standing history that could be tapped into upon spending more time exploring the city and its roots. During a four-month study abroad period, I would gain another cultural understanding that would be impossible to achieve sitting in a classroom in Boston. While studying abroad I could meet people, explore cities, and try foods that I have never heard of yet would fall in love with in seconds.
Another unique benefit of living in Europe for the semester, is the direct connection to so many other historic and exciting cities around the continent. As I’ve seen through the adventures many of my friends have taken while studying abroad, it is far easier to hop on a train and get off in another country in Europe than it would be here in America. So much more can be gained upon expanding one’s horizons past just one city or even one country. I believe learning from others around the globe provides us with deeper insights about ourselves and allows us to become better global thinkers, and all around human beings. When I go into the workforce following college, I will without a doubt have to work with people from around the world who live and think differently. Studying abroad will no doubt prepare me for these adventures as well as lend itself to trying some pretty amazing food along the way.
Although Italy was beautiful, I know I will have a tough time choosing the location which I would most prefer to visit my junior year. In the past I have fallen in love with the city of London and was convinced I would move there one day. Only time will tell where I chose to go abroad, but I now know without a doubt that it will be happening at some point during my Tufts career.