Takeaways from adventures in Rome

Guest post by Karah Hsu, a Foster senior studying Finance and Information Systems. Karah studied abroad in Rome, Italy.

My study abroad experience to Rome was probably one of the most fun and rewarding experiences I have ever had in my life. I spent most of my time in Rome, but had the weekends to travel all around Italy. My big three takeaways are:

  1. It’s Okay to Not Have Everything Planned

Personally, I am the type of person that likes to have everything planned out as soon as I can, especially when it comes to trips and my day-to-day activities. When I studied abroad in Italy, that didn’t work. We usually didn’t have our calendar finalized until the day before which made it hard to plan weekend trips. But I learned how to deal with that and plan a great trip the day before. I learned that I don’t always have to have everything scheduled and planned out.

  1. Appreciate the Little Things

In Italy, I really had the chance to appreciate the little things. I feel like in Seattle, it’s always go, go, go, but abroad I really had a chance to take things slow. I sat at a viewpoint in Florence for hours with my friends and had a great time. I sat and just people watched at the Trevi Fountain, and that was fun. I learned that I don’t always have to be doing an activity for it to be a good time. I should really just take in what my surroundings are.

  1. I Want to Study Abroad Again

I had a great experience studying abroad and I would love to do it again. Studying abroad is a lot different than just traveling abroad. By studying abroad, you really have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture, and that’s something that I really like. Coming back after my study abroad, I had a new perspective on life and my day to day actions. Furthermore, I could apply my takeaways to my professional life. While talking to co-workers, I could draw on experiences I had with company visits. Besides academics, I also made life long friends in my program I probably wouldn’t have met otherwise. I would love to study abroad somewhere else for however long.

My study abroad experience was better than I could have hoped. I am excited to apply more of what I learned in my daily life and hopefully go abroad again!