Farewell Florence—Study Abroad Reflection by Ciana Feliccia

My time abroad has been nothing short of spectacular and surreal. Just steps from my apartment stood the great—David of Michelangelo statue.

Each day I’d depart from my apartment with gratitude as I’d pass a long, bustling, line of tourist visiting from around the world awaiting their turn to marvel at the towering statue. This unique perspective afforded to me through study abroad has changed the way I see the world. My place in the world seems so much smaller now that I’ve seen more and experienced growth in a new place. I see my identity as ever evolving as I leave so much of my self behind in Florence. Moving forward, I see myself perusing other opportunities that challenge me to adapt and embrace new cultures or languages. I wouldn’t trade this experience for any other. It’s truly transformed my sense of self, determination, and capabilities in all aspects of travel. Expanding my mindset to consider other ways of life has been most impactful in my journey across the sea. I now see how the simple pleasures of life can be so easily overlooked in the fast-paced culture of western society. Moving forward, I hope to take what I’ve learned about a slowed down way of life and implement it into my life at home. If I could give future study abroad students any advice, it would be to not be afraid to have slower days of reflection along the way. Sometimes we forget just how special moments in time are until they have already passed. While experiences abroad are so rightfully exciting times of our lives, it’s important to remember the value in taking your time in places you visit. That way, when you look back you can truly say that you connected with the people and places you explored. I hope to go back someday and relive the memories that epitomized my travels and story.

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