What I Learned from Studying Abroad

Monday, October 1, 2018


Long time no talk!
The last few months of studying abroad and this summer were very very busy, and I put my plans for Preppy and Posh on the back burner. Blogging will always be a hobby of mine but I think I can do a better job of pacing myself so I don’t go MIA for so long!

Where do I start - I came back from Italy 5 months ago... it is crazy how long it has been! It was absolutely the best experience of my life and I miss it everyday. This summer I worked a lot and enjoyed being home in America, and before I knew it school had already started. I am currently in my  LAST year (!!!!!) of college and have been trying to keep up with making sure I have enough credits and balancing two jobs. I’m crazy busy, but I like my schedule right now a lot.

For today’s post, I wanted to recap what I had learned from my abroad experience. I had absolutely no idea that living abroad would affect my life as much as I did. I really didn’t know what I was getting into, honestly. I left to spend 4 months in a foreign country and only knew one person briefly before going. I knew almost nothing about Florence, no idea what to pack, and how much money to bring. Of course I had read thousands of tips about living abroad, but I learned fast that everyone is different and those tips might not work for everyone. My goal was to experience as much as I could and make an effort to meet new people, and hopefully come out a happier and wiser person.

I quickly made a bunch of friends, and that still surprises me. I am mostly a pretty shy person and it takes a little while for me to open up. It is not me at all to go up to somebody and introduce myself and ask them to hangout. I made a lot of friends that went to my school and some that went to other schools that were in my classes in Florence. I think studying abroad definitely made me more outgoing and I find it easier to put myself out there now. Prior to studying abroad, I never planned on leaving my small town outside of Boston post graduation. It was never something that interested me for multiple reasons, one being having to put myself out there. Now, that plan has completely changed! I would love to move to a different city within a couple years after graduation and it is something I am debating now.

Studying abroad is very expensive. I had been told that the food in Italy and traveling around Europe is cheap. I definitely under budgeted. I had pretty much ran out of money a month and a half in. Thank God my parents were able to lend me some money until I was back home and could work, but if I didn’t I literally would’ve been screwed! Going out to eat often is pricey, and especially drinking often. Traveling is not as cheap as I had been told. I took buses almost everywhere because flying was a lot of money. The only place I had flew to was Paris - and I believe my flight was over 200 euros for Friday-Monday from Florence. My advice to anyone that studies abroad is to save as much as you can possibly can and there is no such thing as too much to save, because you’ll probably spend it all.

Before I studied abroad, I commuted to school and worked part time. I rarely had a day off of both and I really packed my schedule to be as busy as possible. The months leading up to Florence, I worked really hard to save enough money and didn’t have much of a life. That was definitely necessary looking back, because I needed every penny. However, studying abroad made me realize how important it is, especially in your 20’s, to live life. You have the rest of your life to work. Now that I have traveled Europe, I have realized there is so much more of the world that I want to see. I don’t think I would have realized that if I had not lived abroad.

I grew a lot as an individual when I lived abroad. You become very independent - even if you believe that you already were before. One thing I liked to some mornings I had late classes was go to a cafe alone and watch the locals. I know some people that even took the risk and traveled somewhere alone, and they ended up meeting new people. I had never really been “wowed” by a place before I studied abroad. Seeing pictures of the Eiffel Tower or the Oia sunset in Santorini seemed really cool, but traveling wasn’t a top priority for me. Some of the experiences I had abroad literally left my speechless and gave me an appreciation for travel and memories that I hadn’t really felt before. For example, one of my most memorable experiences abroad was when I went on a wine tour in Chianti with about 5 other girls. An old Italian men was supposed to bring us to a vineyard from a spa we were at, but he unexpectedly made a pit stop literally on the side of the road. It was about dinner time and there were no cars in sight. He brings us to this piece of land where grapes were grown and there was absolutely nobody there. He wanted us to see the sun set and the view was so beautiful none of us could even speak. Pictures didn’t even do it justice!


I plan to recap each of the trips I took towards the end of my stay - I kind of gave up after my wine tasting tour! Fall fashion is also my absolute FAVE so expect a lot of style posts soon too!
Stay tuned -

2 comments:

  1. Love these lessons. I learned so many of these when I studied abroad too.

    Hayden // http://www.hautetableblog.com/2018/10/best-fall-scarves.html

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  2. Study abroad was such a major experience for me!

    Briana
    https://beyoutifulbrunette.com/

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