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Traveling Abroad Butterflies

I’m well into my junior year of college here at Aquinas and I’ve been antsy to board this plane on October 2nd that will fly me to a destination that I sincerely hope will give me more assurance of who exactly I am. Roma, here I come!

I was accepted into Aquinas’s Italy Study Abroad program and I have been waiting for this moment ever since I did a report on Rome’s Coliseum in the eighth grade. I fell in love with the architecture I saw in books. Being an English major and a writer, I find it incredibly hard to resist the history Rome has to offer. This international airplane ride will transport me to the most crucial moment of my life—surviving in a different country for three months. This is an experience of a lifetime that Aquinas has offered me and I will be forever grateful for this opportunity. I’m leaving everything I know and stepping out of my comfort zone because I know myself well enough that I most certainly can accomplish learning in an entirely different culture. As the saying goes, “When in Rome, do as Romans do!” and I have every intention of doing so.

As for my faith, I will reside five miles from the Vatican—five miles from my Pope—in a beautiful monastery! I worked hard to be in this program because every fiber of my being wanted this experience and I can’t wait to obtain it and cherish it forever. This is the first time I have ever been out of the country and I find comfort in the fact that Italy yearns for me as much as I ache for everything it has to offer. A country is just land without anyone to nourish it and give it purpose. I know that I’m already changing from this experience because I have a fear of the unknown. However, as I wait these final days for my flight all I feel is eagerness to study Humanities, Poetics, Art and Architecture, and Theology in what I believe to be the most influential city in this world—Rome. It is beautifully surreal and now I have goosebumps just imagining what my life will be like in Rome. The excitement I have about going on the planned excursions is in full bloom and the excitement for unplanned excursions is even more palpable.

My wish for you is that you are able to step out of the bubble you feel safe in and plunge yourself into a whole new world. There are so many amazing places out there you can’t even imagine exist! But they do. They’re waiting for you to find them so that you’ll always carry a little piece of their essence inside you forever. I hope you challenge yourself and study abroad as I am currently doing because in the end, no matter what, you will change. I encourage you to seriously think about a study abroad program here at Aquinas College. Our college gives you chances to grow and all we, as students, have to do is accept them. I look forward to sharing more of my experiences abroad on the Saint Scoop Blog. Arrivederci—until we speak again!

2 Responses

  1. Shirley says:

    Great Blog Taylor! Can’t wait to hear more!!

  2. Chad Johnson says:

    Taylor,

    Great advice to other students. You absolutely have to be willing to step out of your comfort zone not only in travel, but in life if you want to grow personally. I also studied abroad in Italy so I can relate to how excited you must have been. I was in Florence for 4 months and miss it everyday. Hope you had a wonderful trip! Great post, thanks for sharing!

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