Well, it officially has been a month since I returned home from beautiful Florence, Italy. Many emotions filled me as I got home—depressed, anxious, happy, nervous—I didn’t know how to feel. I was excited to come home and see family and friends, but I was also extremely depressed to leave all my new friends my new home. I will never be able to forget this amazing experience and I am proud to say that I officially can check off 12 new countries, and 28 new cities.
While being home, I have been able to come up with advice for future students who plan on studying abroad. The most important advice I have is definitely start saving money NOW if you have not already. Trust me on this one. You are going to want to be able to do as much as you can and unfortunately pretty much everything costs money. You do not want to have any regrets. Also, apply for scholarships! I did not think I was going to receive any and I actually got some that helped a lot, so start looking into those. Alabama offers great ones for students who plan to study abroad. Another piece of advice I have is start looking into countries you plan on wanting to visit and do research on them. In many cases, you get settled in abroad and immediately start booking trips for the whole semester in order to reserve spots and save money. I highly recommend doing this! Save warm and beach trips for your last weekends (if you are studying abroad in the Spring Semester) because you will be able to enjoy them a lot more. Overall, I recommend just going in with a highly open mind. You are going to be exposed to many new people, experiences, and places that can take some adjusting to. In the end, everything is worth it and more, and I can genuinely say the past four and a half months have been the best times of my life and I am coming out with genuine friends for life and experiences I will never be able to forget!
Good luck and have the best time ever!