Lessons Learned

I cannot believe how fast this semester has gone by, I wish it was longer! Only one month left studying abroad, and lots of lessons have been learned while facing different responsibilities. If I were to give advice to any students thinking about studying abroad, these are them! Here I will explain three different lessons I have learned over the past three months.

1. Do Not Over Pack

Before coming to Italy, I was very excited about which outfits I was going to wear while I was living here. I threw almost every piece of clothing I owned into my suitcase and packed as many shoes as I could possibly fit. This was a huge mistake! When you are living abroad in student housing, closet space is limited and usually shared with your roommate. Shopping abroad is also amazing and you will want room to take new pieces home with you. When it comes to packing shoes, I would recommend just packing four pairs: a comfy walking sneaker that matches with everything, an ankle boot for when it gets colder (also great for when you go out at night, no one wears sneakers out!), a thick block heel because some restaurants have dress codes, and lastly if you are going abroad when it is warmer out, I recommend a beach shoe that is only to be worn at the beach! When it comes to clothes bring lots of basics that you can mix and match. For example, lots of blacks and whites, your favorite pair of jeans, a blazer, and some nice dresses.

It is Okay to Outfit Repeat!

2. Don’t be Nervous, Everyone is Feeling the Same Way

When first deciding to study abroad I was so nervous when it came to making friends and getting around the city. Once getting here, I realized everyone is in the same position me! Most students also came alone just like me, so everyone was looking for friends. I have met such amazing people and I can tell they will become forever friendships. When you experience such life changing experiences with people, you both are able learn so much about yourselves. You are able to open up with each other in ways you never have before. Do not be afraid to talk to new people, if I had not been open to making friends I would have missed out on so many opportunities. When it comes to getting around the city, we are lucky enough to live in a time where all you have to do is type an address into your phone. Phone maps are very helpful when it comes to walking and taking public transportation.

3. Be Yourself

My whole life I have always been told to be myself, but sometimes that is easier said than done. When you are in a new situation, it is easy to conform and do what others are doing. This is the last place you want to conform. Studying abroad is a life changing opportunity, so be yourself and enjoy all that there is. It is a time to start new and be there for yourself and no one else. People will like you for who you are, and if they do not, find some new people that will. When you are growing as a person, it makes sense that you will change in some ways. We are supposed to, it is how we grow as an individual and bring something different to the world around us.

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