Upcoming Website Maintenance

Early this Wednesday morning U.S. Central Time the IES Abroad website will undergo scheduled maintenance. During this time some or all features of the site - like login and account creation - will be unavailable, but we expect this disruption to be brief. Thank you for your patience.

Reflections

Kristina Azevedo
May 16, 2016

During the time since I left Siena, I have thought about my entire experience quite a bit.  No words can ever truly describe all that I saw and experienced during my time abroad.  At 20 years old I had the unique opportunity to see a different way of life and challenge myself beyond anything I ever thought I was capable of.  I gained a tremendous amount of knowledge along the way about art, history, culture, and language.  I saw the beauty in traveling to new places to experience different cultures and lifestyles.  It never quite felt real that I was actually doing what most people only dream about their whole lives.  I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity to chase my dreams half way across the world.  It was an invaluable educational experience that I truly believe made me a more well-rounded student.  

 

Yet, I think the most important part of this whole experience was that I learned about myself.  Being out of your comfort zone for four months truly tests your limits.  The entire semester was about extremes.  Extreme highs and extreme lows created a test like none other for me.  I learned to live with myself, to rely on my own knowledge and common sense instead of constantly relying on other people.  It’s not a bad thing to rely on others but in the end you need to be able to depend on yourself.  Discovering that I can depend on myself in difficult situations was something that I needed to learn and being outside of my comfort zone allowed me to do this.

 

Siena will always have a special place in my heart.  It was the setting for one of the most formative experiences of my life and it truly had an impact on who I am now versus who I was only four months ago.  I am not a different person, just a better version of myself after this amazing semester.  Now moving forward, I want to use all the knowledge and skills I gained to push myself to achieve greater things, to stop doubting my abilities, and do what makes me happy.  Even though this beautiful chapter in my life has come to a close, it has influenced where I go from here.  I don’t know when I will return to Italy, but I know it will happen sometime in the future.  Until then, I will find other ways to challenge myself beyond what I think is possible and keep reaching for new heights.

More Blogs From This Author

View All Blogs

Kristina Azevedo

<p>I&#39;m a sophomore from George Washington University majoring in Communications and minoring in Italian and Journalism. &nbsp;I love traveling, art, and food. &nbsp;I am so excited to share my experiences with you, especially my quest for the best bread in Italy.</p>

Destination:
Term:
2016 Spring
Home University:
George Washington University, The
Major:
Journalism
Explore Blogs