Traveling the World and Finding Myself Along the Way: The 3 Biggest Things I’ve Learned while Studying Abroad in Italy

Blair Konczal is a student at Kansas State University and an ISA Featured Blogger. Blair is currently studying abroad with ISA in Florence, Italy.

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Hello! Don’t mind me just hanging out on the streets of Dublin for St. Patrick’s Day!

When I came to study abroad I came in with the mindset that it was such a great opportunity to see and travel the world. I never imagined that studying in Florence would teach me so much  more about myself as it is doing.  Here are the three biggest things I’ve learned since I’ve been here:

1. I’ve learned that I’m a pretty adventurous person, but that can sometimes get me into some sticky situations. Which then taught me confidence is key to everything.

Lock bridge in Paris, the last stop of my spring break
Lock bridge in Paris, the last stop of my spring break

2. Talking to others and asking them about their life has really shown me that I rely heavily on my values and morals that I was raised on and I couldn’t be more appreciative to my parents for instilling those into my head.

Big Ben, London. Second place of my spring break where I gave couchsurfing a go
Big Ben, London. Second place of my spring break where I gave couchsurfing a go

3. Lastly I’ve learned tolerance is key. I may not completely agree with something that someone says, but I do need to respect it. My opinion is just that, an opinion. Just because someone has a different opinion that doesn’t agree with mine doesn’t make it wrong. In fact I feel like I’ve learned the most from people who think completely opposite of me.

Hillary and myself goofing around in front of the Eifel Tower
Hillary and myself goofing around in front of the Eiffel Tower

Studying abroad is teaching me so much about my life.  It challenges me daily. I’ll never take for granted the ability to easily communicate with people once I get back home. It’s also giving me an incredible amount of confidence in who I am as a person.  It’s really hard to sum up just exactly how studying abroad is changing me, but I know it has and will impact my life and who I am as a person forever in a positive way.

And be sure to check me out on twitter @blairkonczal or on Instagram @blairkonczal to keep up with me on more of a daily basis around Europe! Ciao!

Author: blairkonczal

Junior studying digital media currently abroad in Florence! Passion for music, video and travelling!

One thought

  1. Just curious, but as part of your studies there do they have Italian for one of your classes? And if so how hard are the classes there? I was going to get in a study abroad program through MSU and speak a little Italian but the people talk so fast there that I have trouble following. Reading it I’m fine, but its tough when they speak so fast that everything is blending together. Anyway, have fun over there. I liked Florence when I visited.. felt like I was walking around an outdoor museum at times. haha.

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