As the fall semester reaches its peak, nerves are being tested and students begin making some big decisions, whether it be needing one more class to graduate, or debating on whether or not to study abroad.

When faced with the decision of whether or not to study abroad, the answer is to do it.

No matter what, do it.

In the fall of 2018, I knew right away that I wanted to study in another country. I knew from the start that I wanted to stay in Italy.

During my decision process, nerves were high and anxiety hit me that I would be traveling alone to a foreign country.

At first glance, this seems scary and intimidating. All of the what-ifs started racing through my mind as I pondered on the thought.

I ended up traveling to Italy on a 9-hour flight completely alone. I was even the only student from Pennsylvania on the trip!

Being able to travel to Rome, Florence, Cinque Terre and surrounding Tuscany was the experience of a lifetime.

Pienza, Italy

Even though I was scared and confused when arriving alone in a huge airport in a different country, I am extremely grateful for this experience and for stepping out of my comfort zone.

There are so many other students who study abroad who go solo as well, so you’re not alone. Everyone is just as eager to meet each other as you are.

Other students I became friends with on my trip.

If finances are an issue, Bloomsburg University and study abroad websites offer many scholarships for deserving students. There are financial opportunities all around you!

One aspect that truly helped while I was abroad was choosing to live at a home-stay. My home-stay family truly made me feel at home and treated me like family the entirety of my trip.

They introduced me to new recipes for dinner and important life lessons. It was just as hard to leave my home-stay family as it was to leave my family at home when I initially left for my journey.

Along the way, I learned so much about myself and what I am capable of. Being able to study abroad was the best thing I’ve ever done for myself, and it will be for you too!

In the grand scheme of things, there’s no time like the present. Go out and see as much as you can whenever you can, even if it’s right in your backyard.