At Home in Italy

Lana Valente Umbra Institute, Perugia, Italy


October 9, 2017

A lot can change in a few weeks... But sometimes, nothing does! I'm far more comfortable than I was during the first month, because after four or five weeks, you build a routine. Italian life has settled well with me, like a good meal that took time to digest. From learning the language to adjusting to the culture, it can be difficult for everyone-- even though I spent much of my childhood here!

(Pictured above: my friends enjoying the view from my nonna's house, near Frosinone. This is home!)
As time passes, I'm becoming hyper-aware of how little time we actually have while we're abroad. Our midterm exams are next week, already... How the time has flown! I haven't left the country yet, so it really feels like the pressure is on to see just about everything before I go home. How can I split my last few weeks evenly throughout the entire continent of Europe? It's impossible.

Although Italy is beautiful, it has also become the norm. It's funny to think of it this way; I often consider how my perspective has changed since the beginning of the semester. A new school with new people in Perugia... It was all so intimidating. Now, we have favorite restaurants and we know locals, we have cliques and homework and we know exactly what we want from the supermarket. It's not strange anymore, because we've built a new home for ourselves. For example, two weeks ago, my friends and I went to the movie theater. Why not? We wanted to see a new film (Kingsman 2 was phenomenal), and Perugia has become our place. Of course we can make it happen. How hard is it to go to the movies when you're at home?

Everything-- indeed, everything-- has become so familiar. School is here, friends are here, and so it seems less like an exotic vacation and more like home base. This is a great development, but at the same time, I've begun to feel a bit antsy. I'm ready to visit other countries to see more of this incredible continent. The history here is palpably ancient, as opposed to the more recent histories we have at home in the U.S. I want to explore more, see more, and only time will tell how much I'll be able to do this semester.


Italy Semester Travel