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Summer Gardner in Italy Studying Abroad + Biochemistry Major = Outstanding experience

My decision to study abroad was spontaneous and short noticed. I decided in January that I wanted to study abroad in Italy that upcoming May. I had not saved up any money, shocked my family, and was one of the last to submit their applications. However this did not stop me! I found the perfect program from me, Arizona in Italy. The program entailed studying abroad in Orvieto, Italy along with different trips planned in the five weeks that I would be in Italy. At first I didn’t have hope that I would be able to come up with the money to go this summer. And as the due date for the application into the program, application for financial aid/scholarships, plane ticket due, and finally taking off to Italy! With each deadline coming and going I had a bubbling sensation growing inside of me, this is really happening. I like to call myself a free spirit and with this opportunity becoming more and more close I was getting antsy.

School was over and I had one week to endure before I was on my first plane to Orvieto, Italy. Part of me was scared and the other half couldn’t wait to get out of Tucson, AZ! As my family drove me to the airport and wished me luck and said goodbye is probably when it hit me that I was going to another country! The only obstacle that was in my way, this time, was two transfers one in Chicago and one in London. This was my first time since I was 6 that I had been on a plane; so flying was a new experience to me as well. Alas I made it to Italy!

Italy was everything I had hopes it would be. The views were magnificent, the sounds purer, the smell sweeter with a twist of sour, the touch of the wind cleaner, and the taste of food grown in front of my eyes delectable. Orvieto is considered "old" Italy; it is not as modern, or as traveled by tourists, as Rome or Florence. The architecture is that from old movies; they still have cobble stone streets, which was the cherry on top of my experience. I poured my heart and soul into this experience and made it everything I wanted it to be from: cliff diving into the Mediterranean Sea in Sorrento, the art Biennale in Venice (the city on water), the on going rivalry Siena has for Florence, the magnificent statues with water glazing the sides in Tivoli, to the feeling I had waking up every morning thinking, "I can not believe I am in Italy."

As a science major I have been taught to observe, test, analyze, and form a conclusion. In Italy I observed the people, food, sound, sights, history, art, religion, and everything going on around me. I tried new foods such as pasta with liver and chili sauce. I tested my skill of speaking Italian to the Italians (not many can say that). I had a journal that I brought that helped me analyze the activities I did everyday, from the sightseeing to the academic side. Analyzing my experience brought me to my conclusion: I would never take back my decision to study abroad. I concluded that to get a better understand of our world everyone should get the chance to live in another country. Living in another country really opened my eyes to another culture, to another live outside of my own and I will always appreciate it.

ITALY: In Time All Life Yearns for opportunity.