Introducing Alyssa

According to my timehop today, a year ago I was in my absolutely favorite city in the world, Florence. For those of you who are unaware of what timehop is, it basically is an app that makes you feel insane amounts of nostalgia by showing you everything you did (per social media) on the current date each year in the past. For me, a year ago I was basically in bliss. Not that I’m complaining, Wisconsin weather has been pretty kind this spring, but I think we can all agree there is just no comparison to sipping cappuccino at an outdoor café in the streets of Firenze.

I am currently a senior at UW-Madison, approaching my last semester in the fall, but before it’s time to wear the graduation cap, there is one more adventure awaiting me this summer. This summer I will be studying in Perugia, Italy with the Language & Culture Program organized through IAP. This is an intensive Italian language program so basically when I leave Italy I will be spitting out close to native-speaking Italian, dreaming in Italian and never shutting up because that’s how excited I’ll be to speak the language fluently. Or at least that’s the plan… I will warn you right now, this blog will not show you my reflections on my first time being in Italy and studying abroad. My blog will actually be quite different. In fact, I have already had a study abroad experience in Italy and gone through all the worries, fears, discoveries and joys of living in another country. Instead, this blog will focus on my return to my second home and my journey to creating a real future for myself in a country and culture that I am so incredibly passionate about. Since there has been so much that has happened during and since my time studying abroad, I’ll give you a short summary of my life roughly from the past year to give you an idea of why I am going back this summer:

January 2014: I leave for Florence, Italy and begin my study abroad program

February: Okay, this place is amazing (I fall in love with Italy)

March: Wow, I love wine and cappuccino and my cute little Florentine apartment and the Medici. (I am having the time of my life in Italy)

April: So, why do people live anywhere else but here anyway? (Italy=home)

May: I really never ever ever want to leave this place (Starting to become sad about my departure)

June: Chicago is cool too I guess. (I start a summer internship in Chicago)

July: But… I really miss Italy (I decide I want to go back to Italy)

August: Yeah, I WILL go back to Italy (Somehow I am going to go back)

September: It has been decided. (I am going to find a job and live in Italy)

What the above internal dialogue is supposed to depict is how I went into my study abroad program liking Italy and Italian culture and left knowing it had become my home and that I needed to somehow start a life there. And so, this summer will be the next step for me to getting myself there. The plan is to reach almost perfect fluency in the Italian language and reach out to professional connections in Italy while of course discovering the charms of a new city. I am so beyond excited and motivated to make my dreams of working and living in Italy a reality and so, on that note, I’ll end with some inspirational words of wisdom for any of you out there who don’t believe anything is possible: “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!” –Audrey Hepburn

(^ She was so right)