Indiana University Overseas Study

Elizabeth King

As my departure date fast approaches, I can’t help but be anxious. I’m nervous about the prospect of being on a new continent, within a different culture, surrounded by a foreign language. Although IU has its own unique culture, I expect the culture in Florence to be unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. I have a million questions running through my head: How will I communicate with locals? Am I going to look like a classic tourist? What will I struggle with while abroad? There are a multitude of unknowns, things I just can’t prepare for by looking at a traveling website or reading a book.

I’m confident that all of my questions, my fears, are going to be resolved when I actually get there, so why worry now? I think going to Italy isn’t all that different from going to college as a freshman; there is alarm, distress and anxiety, but it’s just something you’ve got to do, and in the end, you’ll do just fine.

Despite my initial trepidation, I really cannot wait for the possibility of new experiences. I’m excited about the prospect of hailing my first taxi, navigating my way through a foreign airport for the first time, and ordering my first Italian coffee. I’m excited for the “first-ness” of it. I’m excited to know that these experiences will become defining moments in my life. I believe that I’ll be able to look back on my experience here and understand how much I grew and learned in such a short time.

There is a child-like wonder when I think about Italy and its history, art, and culture. To know that I’ll soon be a part of that gives me chills. Fears aside, I can’t wait for this journey to begin and to finally experience the wonder of Italy.

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