A Farewell to Florence: Learning How to Saying Goodbye

Samantha Philbrick is a student at University of New Hampshire and an ISA Featured Blogger. Samantha is currently studying abroad program in Florence on an ISA Fall 1 program.

My last week in Florence was ridiculously hard.

It wasn’t the five crushing finals threatening to drive me crazy by keeping me up until early in the morning studying for. It wasn’t packing up everything from the last five months into two airport approved suitcases in time to catch my 6am flight. It wasn’t the projects, presentations, and reviews that had to be completed before the 15th. It was hard saying goodbye to the city and the people I had formed this incredible bond with over the course of my study abroad program.

It was hard going to all my favorite places, The Duomo, Gusta Pizza, The San Lorenzo Market… and knowing I wouldn’t be able to go back whenever I felt like it. It was hard saying goodbye to the AMAZING Florence ISA ladies and all their laughter, advice, and support. And saying goodbye to my five hilarious roommates who I wouldn’t get to see every day anymore seemed impossible.

I really learned a lot studying abroad in Florence. Art, history, cooking, literature, wine appreciation, the works. But I learned a lot about myself too. I learned that I could go to a place and know nothing about the language, people, geography, and basic life around me and not only survive, but thrive. I learned that I could overcome these obstacles and end up never wanting to leave. I know that this won’t be the last time I go to Florence, it can’t be, I’m way too attached now. But thanks to ISA, my teachers, my friends, and, above all, the city’s amazing hospitality, I got to experience the real thing. Up close and personal.

It was the best experience of my life!

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