It isn't going to hit me until I walk in the door of my home in Wellesley that my crazy, five month adventure in Italy is actually over. Currently, I am sitting in JFK airport during my three hour layover, waiting for my final flight to Boston. Just ten hours ago I was in Milan; I felt like I was a local, knew my way around like the back of my hand, had learned the language (proficiently enough to get by). I came, I saw, I did, and I left. I am very excited to be headed home, but I know it won't take longer than a day or two for me to miss my temporary home in Italy's fashion capital.
Our last night we had the farewell dinner, hosted by the Osteria di Treno in Piazza Repubblica. The owner had graciously cleared the restaurant for our group of 150 or so, and served a marvelous authentic Italian meal of mixed charcuterie, risotto alla milanese, a pasta dish from the south, and an apple tart to top it off. It was truly a great way to end the semester. Afterwards a large group of us went to a bar for the last time, and we even met some IES alums from Spring 2014. They had been visiting their CA (community assistant), and were planning to travel Europe even more in a few days. It just goes to show the kinds of relationships you can build in such a short amount of time.
Speaking for myself, I have made a group of friends that I know I will cherish for a long time. While I absolutely love and adore my friends at UVA, and miss them all terribly, I am so glad to have done an abroad experience that introduced me to students from across the country. Best of all, this isn't good-bye. The great thing about studying abroad in the spring is that, when you return back to the States, the summer is upon us, and for most of us that means internships in NYC. So it won't be long before we are reunited, and the memories we've made with continue on.
There are honestly too many good times to count, and I can't pick just one to call my favorite. The entire experience was everything I wanted and more, from making amazing new friends, to having an internship, to traveling the world and gaining independence. Many students, especially those who love their homeschool, are afraid to go abroad for a whole semester. FOMO takes over, and they don't want to miss out on anything with their friends, or they don't want to shorten their already short four years at their school. While that is completely understandable, believe you me-- you are missing out if you don't study abroad. The experiences you have and the people you meet are none like any other you will have at college, and they are ones you will remember for the rest of your life. And when you finally return home, trust me-- everything and everyone will be there waiting for you.
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<p>My name is Meredith, and I am a 3rd year Media Studies major from UVA. I love bananas, yoga, and traveling the world. I am also a fashion blogger and pursuing a career in fashion, so I hope to record how my experiences in Milan, one of the fashion capitals of the world, shapes my future! </p>