The Second Time Around

I sit here two days before leaving Italy for the second time wondering, “where has the time gone?” Four years ago, I participated in this incredible program as a senior in college. Now, as a third year doctoral student, I will leave Italy with a different perspective on what it means to be involved with a study abroad program. Before returning to Ariccia, when I reflected back on my time as an undergraduate in this program, I often thought about my travel experiences, the things I saw in other countries and around Italy, and my peers I shared these experiences with. Now that I’m leaving in about 48 hours, I am certain my reflections of this past experience will be much different – and this is not a bad thing! To start, I will never forget the feeling I had when I returned to Ariccia for the first time in four years on May 9th, a day before 21 new JSB students arrived. I walked into the Chigi Palace, so familiar to me, and I saw Cinzia Bracalente, the program facilitator. ┬áSeeing Cinzia in person, someone four years ago I realistically thought I would never see again, warmed my heart immediately. It was in this moment I knew I would find a different type of value in this international experience. Long story short, after completing my second three month tour in this beautiful country, my personal conclusion is that the people we share moments with ultimately shape our overall experience. This particular program allows an opportunity for Auburn students to share moments with some of the most interesting and special people I have ever met in my life. I’ve spent a lot of time around this group of 21 students and I’ve been very excited to see how they’ve taken advantage of this opportunity – just look at some of the previous blogs – they are really eating this experience up! ┬áThe things that make study abroad programs beneficial – learning from knowledgable and passionate lecturers, interacting with people who have had such a wide range of life experiences, appreciating differences amongst cultures, immersing themselves within a foreign community, and developing into stronger and more confident young adults – are all happening on the JSB Auburn Abroad in Italy program. I consider myself so lucky to have had another opportunity to be a part of this experience. It makes me sad to think about the strong possibility of never seeing some of these special people again, but I am also aware of how fortunate I am to have learned from such a special community here in Ariccia.

Steven Wright

A great group wraps up a great semester - JSB Summer 2016

A great group wraps up a great semester – JSB Summer 2016