For my summer abroad, I went to London, Paris, Nice, Milan, Venice, Florence and Rome for the month of May. I got to bounce around to different cities with different languages and new people. Each city I went to was an adjustment, whether the language was the same as the previous destination or not. The hotels were different every time, and the city always had different sights and smells.
London was where the trip began and it was the perfect city to begin with since there was little change between there and the U.S. The temperature was cooler there and the weather was rainy just as expected. My biggest surprise was how clean the city was. The public transportation, the streets, and the parks were all free from trash and there were no offending smells. London is a busy city and during rush hours all of the locals are hurrying to and from their jobs. It can be a little overwhelming with the adjustment to traffic. They drive on the opposite side of the road and this had more of an effect on pedestrian crosswalks than I thought it would. As a part of my course the group I was a part of visited many different museums in each city, and in London they were all free and so integral to the city. We spent a lot of time in each museum and I got to see some of the most beautiful artwork and I now get to say I have a favorite artist and favorite paintings.
In France we stayed in Paris and then Nice. Paris was much dirtier than I had expected it to be but there had previously been strikes involving their sanitation workers. Paris has the most disgusting smells, but has the most beautiful restaurant I got to visit there, with greenery crawling around the ceiling, cream colored exposed brick and soft yellow light. The Eiffel tower was incredible and so much larger than I had ever imagined and I’m so glad that I got to experience that. Nice was a relaxing break after the busy time in London and Paris. We still visited a museum but there were much fewer people and it was a nice change in pace. The hotel we stayed at was the nicest one of the whole trip and the pebble beach was so cool to see. During our free time, a friend of mine on the trip went with me to Monaco via a short train ride and it was really exciting to be able to visit an extra city and country while we were already traveling. We went to the most unexpected Steak and Shake in the middle of Monaco and got to walk on the Circuit de Monaco for the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix that was currently being set up for a race that would happen a few days after we visited.
In Italy we traveled quickly between Milan, Venice, and Florence before slowing down and finishing in Rome. Each city was a new experience and my favorite would have to be Rome, simply because of all the beautiful tourist destinations we got to see. The Roman Forum and the Colosseum were incredible and were my tourist destinations for the whole trip. While in Italy I got to try many different types of pasta which was a dream come true because I have always loved cooking and eating Italian food. The desserts were incredible and I really enjoyed our final project for the class which was to design our own museum.
My experience abroad was one I would repeat in a heartbeat, with the only thing I would change being how long I could stay in each city. I got to experience different types of public transportation which I love and wish I could have more of in America. I got to hear new languages and experience some unique cultural differences which were really surprising at times. Above all of that, I got to witness pure human moments. There are so many differences I could list off if I wanted to, but beyond all of the differences I also got to witness our similarities and I got to see just how human we are. How our attention is drawn to beautiful sights and the steps we will take to witness them. How excited we all are to sit down and eat the meal that’s been prepared for us at a restaurant. I got to witness the similarities we have with people that we have never met, on a different side of the world and it was beautiful.
Allison Moody (BS Communication) spent the Summer 2023 semester studying abroad in England, France, and Italy through AIFS. Allison had the following to say about studying abroad, “Studying abroad was something I always wanted to do and it was so much more than I ever thought it would be. The trip is now a constant reminder that I need to chase after the things that I want. You learn so much about the world and about other people. While you get to know the differences between you and the rest of the world, you also get to know the similarities, and that’s a beautiful thing.”
Share this post: