I can’t believe we only have four days left. There are so many words I could use to describe the Joseph S. Bruno Abroad in Italy program (JSB)… amazing, fun, challenging, and inspiring, just to name a few… but what really stands out to me about this whole experience is the group of girls that I have been fortunate enough to spend these 12 weeks with.
When we arrived in Ariccia, more than half of us didn’t know each other. I only knew two of the students before joining this program. I remember being warned that being part of JSB would be an intense bonding experience, but nothing could prepare me for the joy I experienced watching old friendships become stronger and the creation of new friendships.
You see, as the GTA of this program, I’ve held the unique position of being both an observer and a participant. As an observer, I was able to witness so many moments that still put a smile on my face. I saw women who called themselves strangers only weeks before hold each other while one of them cried over the loss of a close friend. I saw them celebrate an engagement, birthdays, and job/internship attainment. I heard them talk to each other over the phone when they weren’t traveling together. I saw them form inside jokes and create odd nicknames for each other. In short, I saw relationships form and strengthen to a point where I’m certain they will withstand the test of time. I feel incredibly lucky to have been granted the opportunity to have witnessed and participated in this experience with this group of women. I hope that they cherish the memories they made while studying abroad – I know I will be reliving these last 12 weeks for years to come.
As I write, I can’t help but remember our first days in Italy – we first enjoyed the sights and tours as individuals, but we gradually began to enjoy everything in groups.
I can’t wait to see what the future holds for each and every one of my Chigi Princesses!