When I received my acceptance e-mail to the Santa Reparata International School of Art (SRISA) in Florence, Italy I was beyond ecstatic! I have always had a passion for art, but have not have a chance to take art since graduating from high school. What better way to get back into making art than by going to the city with the greatest concentration of art in the world!? Not to mention, living in Italy for five months would allow me to eat endless amounts of my favorite foods: pasta and pizza! Minutes after receiving my acceptance e-mail, I posted this status to Facebook:
“watch out italia, here i come! – officially accepted in to the Santa Reparata International School of Art in Florence, Italy! beyond excited for five months of pasta, art, pizza, more pasta, more art, and more pizza! bring on the #sophomoreseventy”
Needless to say, I was pretty excited.
Unfortunately, the initial excitement had to wear off…As I made numerous phone calls to tell all of my family and friends about my acceptance into the study abroad program, I realized that I would be leaving everything I knew and loved behind to go to a new place with new people and an entirely different culture! I have traveled before, but only with my family…How was I suppose to know how to navigate the train stations of Europe without my dad? Who was I suppose to call when I was having a bad day when my mom was on the other side of the world (with international calls being so expensive)? The excitement slowly began to morph into a bit of fear and uncertainty. Participating in a study abroad is a big commitment and involves a great deal of responsibility and independence, which as a twenty year old I am still working on developing.
After many late nights of filling out acceptance forms and scholarship applications and worrying about making such a big commitment, I came to the realization that this truly would be “the opportunity of a lifetime” (cheesy as it sounds). After graduating from college, I will have to find a job and start a family and have much bigger responsibilities, which will not allow me the opportunity to take five months off and simply take classes in another country…
So, now I am all-in! Even with my slight second-guessing of my decision to do a study abroad, I have realized this is what I want to do and now is the opportunity to do it! Who knows how many more dips and turns I will experience in the next year as I prepare for, complete, and return from my study abroad, but I believe it will all be worth it. Right now I can’t stop looking up the top sites in Florence and planning weekend trips to explore the great city. At this point I am in a frenzy for Firenze!