Returning to the USA and settling in after an extensive travel day prompts reflection on my time abroad. As I sift through my camera roll, memories flood in—fun, challenges, and unforgettable moments. The post-abroad depression sets in, but I reassure my friends considering studying abroad next semester: the four months of this experience make it all the more precious. It's the impermanence that encourages us to cherish every moment, take risks, and step out of our comfort zones.
This journey has been a profound learning experience, unexpectedly preparing me for the real world. Making friends from diverse places, I shared experiences that tested my adaptability. Navigating situations where language was a barrier, I became more self-sufficient, learning to fend for myself. Along the way, I developed a deep affection for the local culture, especially its culinary delights. The thrill of exploring the best restaurants and markets made every day an adventure, and walking everywhere not only provided exercise but also presented a beautiful view, turning routine walks into cherished moments.
IES Abroad deserves commendation for its innovative teaching approach. Holding classes on historic sites enhanced our understanding and appreciation of the material. The well-organized field trips, activities, and events kept students engaged and fostered a sense of togetherness, particularly important for those experiencing this journey alone. Nights spent in the lively streets of Trastevere and impromptu gelato runs stand out as personal favorites, contributing to a perfect experience that I wouldn't trade for anything.
This journey has not only taught me to adapt and be more culturally aware but has also led to personal maturation. I now feel like a more globally-minded individual, ready to tackle the world. The true impact of a study abroad experience becomes apparent only when you've had the privilege to go through it. To anyone reading or hesitating, I encourage you to take the leap. It may seem daunting, but I promise you will be okay.
The IES Abroad program has proven to be an exceptional guide, providing not only an incredible experience but also ensuring my safety and readiness to address any inquiries. Every professor engaged with my learning, fostering excellence in both academics and cultural immersion. I am grateful to have had the privilege of living in the heart of Rome and traveling to eight different countries and fifteen cities. That's the miracle of studying abroad, and although it has come to an end, I will cherish this experience in my heart forever.
The realization that my journey has reached its conclusion sparks the post-abroad depression, but I look back with gratitude. As I transition back to life in the USA, I carry with me a newfound understanding of the world, a more nuanced perspective on cultural diversity, and a set of memories that will forever shape my identity. The ephemeral nature of this experience has made every moment precious, urging me to live fully, embrace challenges, and appreciate the beauty in every corner of the globe. In the grand tapestry of life, my study abroad adventure remains a vibrant and indelible thread, forever woven into the fabric of who I am becoming.
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Hello! I'm Emilie, a junior at Villanova, passionate about beauty, fashion, adventures, and meeting new people. Fun fact: I studied abroad and lived in London for high school. Can't wait to explore Rome and indulge in the finest gelato!