Coming Home

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Dominic Sari
May 30, 2024

Here I am, sitting in my bed at home for the first time in five months. It feels surreal, like studying abroad was a distant dream and I just woke up from the longest nap of my life. However, the contacts in my phone and the pictures in my camera helped me conclude that for the past five months I was in fact on the journey of a lifetime. The friends and memories I have made are irreplaceable and I would not have changed my situation for the world. 
    I went into study abroad not knowing a single person, shaking in my boots that I would struggle to meet people in such a big city. What I didn’t know is that for the next five months I would be living on a 13 person floor with some of the best friends I would ever meet. The Albertonians, as we dubbed ourselves, were a tight knit group of guys that traveled Europe together. More joined our group along the way, and our family grew during our five months studying abroad.    
To all future study abroad students, make sure to live in the moment. I am still nostalgic about the first time I took the metro, and the time that my roommates and I went out to dinner for the first time and got scammed into buying paella. The three most important things I have learned in Madrid are: Live in the now, be open to new experiences, and be grateful for the life you have. I wish I could have frozen time for just a bit longer. To walk in Malasaña with my roommates last time, or one last jog through Retiro park. 
Furthermore, in my two days at home I have taken a Dr. Seuss quote to heart, “Don’t cry because it’s over, Smile because it happened.” As much as I want to dwell on my memories and feel somber that I am no longer living in Madrid, I am just so happy that I was given the experience in the first place. I was given the opportunity to live in one of the best cities in the world for an entire semester of college. In that time I traveled to 13 countries and over 40 cities around Europe and Africa, something that some people cannot even fathom doing in a lifetime. I achieved so many goals in this time and met a plethora of amazing people in every place that I visited.
One final thing I learned about studying abroad is that you cannot put a rating on trips you have been on. So many people have asked me “Where was your favorite place that you have gone to?” My response will always be I really cannot decide. Everytime that I traveled, each trip held unique memories that were defined not only by the location, but by the people that I traveled with, and I simply cannot compare every weekend trip as much as I want to.
Thank you so much for following along on this journey with me. For those who reached out and asked me about my blogs, it made me so happy that the words I wrote did not disappear into cyberspace. Hopefully those reading will one day become an IES blogger themselves! 
    This is Dom signing off! Thank you again and peace out!

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Dominic Sari headshot

Dominic Sari

Hey everyone! I am currently a junior at Villanova University and I am from Long Beach Island on the Jersey Shore. I love to surf, travel, and I am a Survivor super fan. Even though I will be abroad, I will absolutely be up to date on Survivor 46.

2024 Spring
Home University:
Villanova University
Biological Sciences
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