How Studying Abroad Has Taught Me to Appreciate the Beauty Around Me 

Jordan Morrison is a student at the California State Polytechnic University at Pomona. She is an ISA Featured Blogger and is studying abroad with ISA in Florence, Italy.

Ever since I decided I wanted to study abroad, I knew this would be my chance to visit every place that I ever dreamed of. When I first arrived in Florence I could not stop taking pictures of the architecture all around me. Every street I walked down had different shades of yellow, white, and beige with green shutters framing the windows. These streets broke off into squares, or piazzas, which would then showcase classic architecture of buildings such as the Duomo, Santa Croce, and La Rotonda. Being able to walk these streets to class, the daily farmers market, or to sit by the Arno made me realize that the world has so much beauty in it I would not have seen had I not studied abroad. 

Perfect view of the sunset in Florence

Since Florence is in such a central location, it’s relatively easy and affordable to travel outside of Florence. I have always wanted to go to Switzerland so that was my first country I visited outside of Italy. In Interlaken, where I stayed, I had a 360-view of the snow covered mountains that rose above the lakes, creating a scene I had never experienced in person. When it came time to go skiing, the scenic views made me question how a place like this was real. Switzerland will forever hold a special place in my heart. 

View of the mountains while skiing in Switzerland

Paris was another city that really made an impact on me and made me realize that we just have to be willing to take the time to appreciate how beautiful the world is. I took the time to explore the city and stroll through different neighborhoods. My lesson here was that you do not always need a plan of where to go, just being in a new environment and being present is enough to get the full experience. 

Local artist market in Paris

Every place that I have traveled so far has added to my global perspective. No matter where you are now or where you travel, sometimes getting lost wandering through the streets shows you the most wonderful parts of the city. The world is such a beautiful place and has so much to offer. But being consumed in trying to capture the perfect picture for social media clouds your perspective; disconnecting is key to fully experiencing a new country. From now on, I will take only a few pictures when I travel somewhere new because but I know that no matter how good a camera is, it doesn’t replace seeing and experiencing the present moment.

The Kuekenhof gardens in the Netherlands

Your Discovery. Our People… The World Awaits.

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