From One Student to the Next by Isabelle Ede

If I had any advice to give another student planning to study abroad, I would let them know it is unwise to enter the program with any sort of expectations. No matter where a student decides to go, this advice would be helpful in the grand scheme of things. This is because, if something doesn’t go as planned (or even catastrophically wrong), that student will be unable to blame their frustration on higher expectations. Going through with a big event as such, it is easier to say something along the lines of, “Well, this is a part of the adventure, I guess!” For example, a long climb up a hill by foot was not in the initial Study Abroad in Spoleto, Italy program description. It quickly became very frustrating having to carry groceries along with our backpacks up the dirt road, especially if I wore sandals. I usually wanted to wear sandals because of the increasing Spoleto heat, but dirt and rocks would fill my shoes in a matter of minutes. Soon, though, I adapted to the hike and ended up enjoying it. I firmly believe this hike is the only reason I was able to form connections with some of the girls I, otherwise, would have probably never gotten the chance to speak to. I am not usually a social butterfly, but when you undergo struggles with strangers, they soon become friends. We all learned to joke about the long walk and got to know one another quite well. I believe this to be a huge detail in my journey abroad, because sometimes it’s not where you are, it’s who you’re with. This is just a small example of my advice, but I hope future travelers take it under consideration. I had the most fun I have ever had in Italy with that group and formed friendships I hope to never forget. In some crazy way, I have that hill to thank for that.


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