Almost two years ago I sat at this very computer, in this very room to write a post incredibly similar to this one. I went back to read how I summed up my first experience with the JSB Program and the most prevalent line says “…it was an experience I would never trade or probably repeat.” Well, here I am, repeating the experience and I have more love for this program than I thought possible.
The crazy thing about coming back is it gives you sense of deja’ vu. While some things are alarmingly the same, others offer a stark contrast to my first experience. After three months of living in Ariccia and the Chigi Palace it starts to feel like home, but after six months of living here I can honestly say that it has become a home away from home.
The JSB Auburn Abroad in Italy Program has provided with me with life skills I didn’t know I needed and guided me through career choices I had never considered. For those things I will be forever grateful. I know that in my many years to come I will always talk about my time in Italy and how it changed me for the better.
One of things I promised myself this time around was to enjoy my little town. When you get to Europe you want to see all of Europe, but something I have to remind myself is that other students are coming to visit the country I am so quick to leave on the weekend. That is why one of my favorite memories of this semester is from the weekend I stayed in Ariccia and used my days to explore Rome.
That weekend, Maddie Coats and I stayed at the Palace and met our amazing JSB faculty in Rome to tour the Domus Aurea (Emperor Nero’s “Golden House”). The day was spent getting to know the people that work so hard to keep things running smoothly and exploring one of Rome’s hidden gems. 10/10 would recommend.
If there is anything I have taken away from combining my time with JSB, it would be learning how appreciate every experience, good or bad. That is a life skill that will change me for the better.