Ah yes, the time has come for the final blog post. Unfortunately, it’s come much sooner than we all expected due to COVID-19. Still, my time abroad has added value to my life, and I’m thankful for the time I had. Reading back on my original post, I realize some things were as I expected, but other things took me by total surprise. I remember talking to some of the others and asking how they were feeling about the new environment, and many shared that the cultural adjustment had proven quite difficult for them. But for me, I don’t know. I kept waiting for the culture shock to hit me and it never came. I adapted to my new environment extremely well, and I was absolutely thriving, living my best life. Every single day was an entire adventure of its own with new places and new people to discover. I remember walking into the garden area at AUR, which you have to pass upon entering, and being baffled by the beauty of people from all over the world of different ages and different lives with different stories to share talking with one another. And each brought his own personal knowledge to the classroom which provided a richer depth to class discussions. It was eye-opening, really. Of course, Rome is mind blowingly beautiful, and the site from the top of the Gianicolo hill where AUR sits is astronighly breath-taking and one you have to experience for yourself. But, one of the most beautiful things I discovered in Rome was the diversity of the many individuals I crossed paths with in Rome.
Studying abroad absolutely changed me. I feel like I can do whatever I want to do now and the only thing that can stop me is COVID-19. But seriously, I never liked the idea of leaving the States, but after studying abroad, the world seems a lot bigger to me. There is so much it and its people have to offer, and while we’re all experiencing the losses that have come with this pandemic in some way, I am so excited for the adventures ahead.