By Alli Chilicki
Air conditioning on a hot summer’s day, restaurants that are open all hours of the day and ability to use the restroom for free are a few simple things that Americans often take for granted. Although the convenience of having air conditioning in your home is essentially a given in the states, it is a privilege in Europe. Although you have the ability to grab lunch or dinner during your preferred time, restaurants close and re-open according to strict schedules in Europe. Although you have the ability to use the restroom without bringing your wallet, Europeans must remember to bring theirs. Even though I long for these things now that I do not have access to them, it has allowed me to become one with the European culture and gain a better appreciation for what I would normally take for granted at home.
Although it is early in the semester, my time in Florence so far has already allowed me to develop a great appreciation for some of the more important things that are absent in life abroad, such as spending time with family. Adjusting to such changes can be difficult, but is also rewarding and exciting. So for other students who too are studying abroad, immerse yourself in the culture of your new home and life as much as you can. Afterall, your family will be waiting for you in the airport with open arms in three short months. For students who want to study abroad, but are hesitant, take that leap of faith and think about how much of the world their is for you to see. Finally, do not forget to appreciate the small things at home before your journey begins.