Don’t Be Sad Because It’s Over. Smile Because It Happened.

It feels like our big life changing adventure just started, but our last days in Italy are just ahead of us. We all experienced that time flies by way too fast when life is beautiful.

Our twelve weeks were a journey that explored the rich history of Italy, its complex politics, and the whole range of Italian culture. We discovered the magnificent, contrasting landscapes of the countryside, the unique delights of Italian wine and food, and experienced the Italian warmth and hospitality.

During the first weeks, I remember that McDonald’s, mac and cheese, and Chick-fil-A were missed terribly. Weeks later, I see students cooking their own lunch including fresh ingredients bought at the weekly farmer’s market. I remember seeing students having trouble ordering their café in Ariccia’s bars. Now, each and every student is able to confidently order their own Café Americano or Café Fredo while having a small talk with the bar owners.

Next to happy moments triggered by incredible lectures, professors, activities, and exciting field trips, all of us shared similar difficulties while living in Italy’s rich and different culture. Communicating with the locals or figuring out the bus system was difficult at first, but making mistakes is a crucial part of life not only to teach us, but rather to finding ourselves. Part of our daily life – failures may become our greatest assets.

I am grateful for forming such strong relationships with wonderful people and for being a part of this twelve-week, life-changing adventure. I am proud of each and every student that I saw flourish and grow over these few months.

“Don’t be sad because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”

I will miss each and every one of you.


We visited Nemi in our first week.

This is one of my favorite group picture. It was taken in Nemi during our first week.