Coming Home: Biggest Culture Shock

EIU Study Ablog

There we were: my seven best girlfriends and I sitting teary eyed at our favorite Ristorante La Giostra in Florence, Italy. The eight of us, sitting in silence, glancing at each other, the restaurant, the people, the food… all of us, making sure to take in every last detail, knowing it would be the last time we’d experience a moment exactly like this.

Before my arrival to Italy, friends and family prepared me for the all too common, “culture shock.” Sleeping habits, language barriers, unfamiliar places, and loss of comfort zone were aspects that could have made the transition difficult. However, the moment my foot touched Italian soil, I knew something incredible was about to begin.

The city of Florence had a magical way of pulling on my heart strings, making every detail shine a little brighter, every foreign word sound like a beautiful song, and every bite taste…

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Piazzale Michelangelo

EIU Study Ablog


After a few weeks of arriving in Florence, I decided to  journey up to Piazzale Michelangelo. This famous square promised a breathtaking panoramic view of the entire city and I couldn’t wait to check it out. Florentines, as well as study abroad students like me, had described the sight to be “the best in Firenze.”

I began my climb up the steep steps and quickly began to break a sweat. Others had suggested wearing comfortable shoes- and I was glad that I had listened. After approximately ten minutes of solid climbing, along with a few stops to catch my breath, I strode onto parallel ground. At first, all I could see were outskirts of the city; a church and a few gelato shops were visible. But then I saw a sign with an arrow pointing behind me.  I excitedly turned over my left shoulder.

Jaw-dropping. As I stood in amazement…

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Going Back to Italy.

EIU Study Ablog

It’s hard to believe a year has passed since I began my study abroad experience in Florence, Italy. During my time overseas, I fell deeply in love with the Italian culture, and fully realized the potential and importance of travel for a young student. My time abroad brought out inner passions I never realized I had, and helped me grow into the worldlier person I am today. And I miss it so much. Since returning to the United States, not a day has passed that I don’t reminisce my time in Italy. The food, the people, the history, all the vespas, everything! The best part about falling in love with a foreign destination, though, is that you can always return. In fact, as you read this post, I’m making my way to O’Hare. Today, I’m hopping a plane back to Italy, the country that still tightly holds my heart.


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