That’s a wrap!

Mia Anzalone square headshot
Mia Anzalone
December 27, 2022
That’s a wrap!

A while ago in an Italian language class before Thanksgiving break, my Italian professor spent half the class speaking about how when we get back home we’ll go through many different phases. She said that similar to when we arrived, we would experience excitement about finally being back home and then sadness about missing our lives abroad.

At the time, we all kind of laughed her lecture off not really thinking about our lives back at home. But, now I’m finally back home! I’ve been here for nearly a week already, and our professor was right — sort of. 

I often find myself looking through all of my pictures from my semester abroad and though I’m so sad that it’s over, more often than not, I feel grateful rather than melancholy. When it comes to thinking about how my time abroad has ended, I often get the feelings of sadness and gratitude mixed up, but I’ve actually found the two are just inexplicably intertwined. 

There’s also the cliché matter of feeling like a new person when you return from being abroad. I know it’s an annoying statement and one that just sounds ridiculous, but there’s a reason for clichés, right? Normally when I come home from being away for a while, it feels like no time has passed at all, and I just pick up my life from where I left it. But, this time it felt different — it felt like I had been away for much longer than four months. 

It’s not that I’m a new person or anything like that, but I definitely feel like being abroad impacted me in a way that I can feel and express. While abroad, I learned so much about art, history, and food that I found a new appreciation for these things that had previously been lost on me.  Even physically, I unintentionally lost ten pounds while I was abroad just because I was walking so much and being more conscious of what types of food I could prepare for myself. It’s this independence in living and in learning that I think I will miss most from being abroad. 

I think I’ll always daydream about my time in Rome. While I was abroad, I felt like I was living in a dream, but now that I’m back at home, it really feels like it was. And though there were times that it was hard being away, I think that’s just part of any new experience. Getting through those tough times made the good times even sweeter. Writing this post now makes me believe that even more. 

As I conclude my final blog post, I’d like to thank you for reading this post and any others that I wrote! I hope you enjoyed coming along with me this semester. If you’re a current student about to go abroad, get excited — this is going to be an amazing time for you! Thank you also to IES Abroad for everything. Some of my favorite moments this semester have been because of IES Abroad's coordination of field trips and the classes I took this semester were extremely impactful. 

Mia Anzalone square headshot

Mia Anzalone

Hi! My name is Mia and I'm a junior at Occidental College studying Sociology and Art History. I’m from Kailua, Hawaiʻi and love to surf, practice yoga, roller-skate and listen to music! I’m so excited to be studying abroad in Rome for the Fall 2022 semester and can’t wait to experience life in Italy. I’ve got a passion for writing about culture, art and style and can’t wait to explore these interests during my time abroad.

2022 Fall
Home University:
Occidental College
Kailua, HI
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