The Sincerely Sienna blog is about to get a whole lot more exciting! Tomorrow I head out on the adventure of a lifetime. Seven months ago I applied, interviewed and was accepted into a six week study abroad summer program in Rome, Italy. At that point it felt so far away, traveling was something that was so easy and exciting to daydream about but truthfully still it didn’t feel like it would ever be real. But whether I’m ready or not the day is finally here!!
Michigan State University has over 275 programs that take place in more than 60 countries around the world. Studying abroad in college was something that I had always dreamed of doing and more than anywhere I wanted to study in Italy. (Fun fact: I was named after the Italian city “Siena”.) When the time came to get serious about applying for programs and making it happen, I started with going to the Study Abroad Fair at the Breslin Center. Everything was very organized, you could explore by location, major/minor, interests or just browse around. I am a Communication major with a Sales minor so naturally I found myself in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences section. That seemed to be the best part for me – the fact that I could not only experience the adventure of a lifetime overseas, but that I could do it while receiving credit for my major’s graduation requirements. I fell in love with the “Made in Italy” program – six weeks in Rome earning 9 credits while studying intercultural communication, sales and marketing from an Italian perspective. I was told spots were highly sought after so I applied and interviewed right away. Ecstatic to find out I had been accepted, I could not wait to find out who else would be joining me. Beginning in January, our program held bi-weekly meetings where I got to know my fellow “Romies” (who I seem to love already) as well as go over expectations about our summer together as each week grew with more excitement. Actually, we got along well so quickly that a couple of us planned to visit Paris together before our program begins in Rome!
I moved everything out of my dorm room to bring home and had five short days to get ready for Europe. Lots of unpacking and repacking – I’m the worlds worst overpacker so trying to keep my luggage under the 50 pound airline limit has been a real challenge. All these months anticipating the departure but today it’s so odd to say I’m leaving tomorrow. Today, the floor of my bedroom is covered in piles of neatly folded clothes waiting to be stuffed into my suitcase. Today all of my exciting daydreams are now a bit of anxious nerves. Today it’s starting to hit me – this is actually happening.
I know that I will never have an experience like this ever again. Sure, if I’m lucky enough later in my life I’ll travel back to Europe but I will never again “live” in Rome with 18 incredible people my age learning in such a unique setting. I am beyond ready to jump in completely open-minded and up for anything. I could never say thank you enough to my parents for making this possible for me. There is no greater gift than that of life experience. Seeing the world is an absolute dream come true and I will never take these moments for granted.
So, ciao for now! I would love to have you along for the ride, first stop will be a little pre-Rome trip to Paris, France for a few days. You can check back at the Sincerely Sienna blog for updates abroad as well as all of my adventures through photos on Instagram at siennamohl!