Remembering and Reflecting

Anna Bradley
December 11, 2016

As I'm sitting here in my gorgeous hotel room in Seefeld, Austria, I can't help but be both saddened and happy that my study abroad has come to a close. My first day here seems like yesterday, and yet it also seems like over a year ago. I remember meeting Beverlee in the DC airport, and us buying Starbucks one last time before leaving the States. I remember landing in Florence and seeing all of the other girls in the program--all of the boys' flights were delayed, and they arrived the following day. I remember feeling like a stray puppy being picked up by my host parents, and almost crying with joy when I saw the bedroom that would be mine for the next three and a half months. I remember being anxious when choosing my classes, and being terrified about the thought of taking two classes completely in Italian (it ended up being fine). I remember going to a cafe with my Italian language class and successfully ordering a cafe macchiato with Colby, and us nearly crying with relief and happiness of accomplishing such a small yet monumental task. I remember spending the first two weekends island hoping in Cinque Terre and Elba, and thinking "wow, I picked the best place in the world to study." 

Flash forward to October: I remember studying for midterms and frantically trying to finish up papers and presentations before jetting off for fall break. I remember celebrating my birthday with my host parents, best friend, Kate, and my fellow IES Abroad students. I remembering learning how to make pasta from scratch in Bologna. I remember celebrating Halloween in Barcelona, seeing my grandparents in Prague, and walking over 20 miles in two days in Budapest. 

Novemember: I remember alternating weekends between exploring Italy and other countries. I remember climbing up the Eiffel Tower and hiking the alps in Switzerland. I remember starting to study for finals, and realizing that my time in Italy was coming to and end. I remember spending every single second with my IES Abroad friends, because we all were realizing that our time together was coming to an end. 

December: I remember it starting and ending in a heartbeat. I remember finishing exams, having the final dinner, and saying goodbye to my new found friends and professors. I remember a lot of tears and promises to return to Siena together one day. 

Now I am in Austria with my mom, and my brother and dad will be joining us in a few short days to see Venice and Rome. On December 22 I will be boarding a plane to Munich, Germany, and then a second plane headed to Washington, DC. I am going to miss Europe and Siena with all of my heart. But at the same time, I'm excited and ready to return home. I'm ready to see my family, friends, and dogs and cats again. 

So Siena, thanks for the memories. Thanks for the heart ache, the life lessons, and for the friends that I will never forget. This isn't goodbye, it's I'll see you soon. 

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Anna Bradley

<p>I am a current junior majoring in Psychology and minoring in Italian at Sewanee: The University of the South. I am a proud member of Kappa Delta sorority, and am &nbsp;a coxswain for Sewanee&#39;s crew team. In my free time, I enjoy kayaking, reading, going for runs, and playing with my dogs.</p>

2016 Fall
Home University:
Sewanee - The University of the South
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