Visiting Italy had always been a dream to me from the moment I started to learn Italian in high school.
Learning the language and reading about its history and culture made me dream of one day being able to visit such a fascinating country.
The years went by and Italy continued to be a dream while I continued to learn Italian later on in college.
When I started my first semester in the university, I was walking through the club fair and an Italian flag caught my eye. I approached the table and read “Study Abroad in Italy,” I quickly inquired about the program and what I had to do to sign up.
I took all the flyers from the table and immediately texted my mom to tell her about my discovery.
I had talked to my brother about registering for the program as well. After going back and forth from university to university and talking to so many people I was able to register us both to the study abroad program in Italy and move one step closer to the country that I would often daydream about.
Finally, after all these years of Italy being just an unattainable dream, it was soon to become my reality.
The program would last a month and so my mother and I started looking for flights. We ended up with a three-month long trip itinerary.
My brother and I were going to spend two weeks in Madrid, after we were going to visit one of my closest friends who at the time was living in Paris and from there we would go to Italy for a month and a half.
This trip would forever change my life.
I met so many wonderful people from all over the world thanks to this program.
In Italy, I lived in a small town called Perugia and studied in the Università Per Stranieri di Perugia where I had some of the best teachers and made long lasting friendships. I had four roommates who became my travel partners during our stay in Italy, one of them became my best friend and we continue to travel around the world together.
While in Italy, we had the opportunity to visit 15 different cities.
Every weekend was an adventure and a new city to explore.
We ate all the ‘gelatos’ we could from every ‘gelateria’ we saw.
We had cappuccinos every morning on the way to class and Nutella for breakfast whenever we could.
I wish I had learned more about study abroad programs and how available it is to all students no matter your financial need at the time.
If you ever have the opportunity to study abroad do it. It is such a great experience and a great opportunity for growth.
All images © 2000-2016 Antonella Nakfour.