5 Things I Gained from Studying Abroad in Florence

Dec 25, 2018 1:30:00 PM / by Connor McGlone

Connor's semester in Florence may have ended, but his journey continues. In his final post, Connor closes out this experience with 5 takeaways from his time studying abroad. Beyond the places he has traveled to and the best memories he's made, find out how Connor challenged his fears—and what's next for him!

My time studying in Florence has officially come to an end. After a long 12 hours of travel, I finally arrived back in the US on December 15th. While it was extremely sad to leave Florence and all the friends I made there, it is nice to be back with my family for the holidays. When I was on my flight back to the US, I thought about all of the things I have gained from being in Florence. These past three months were unlike any other in my entire life. Here are five of my top takeaways from my experience abroad.

1. Friends from All Over the World

polaroid of me and my friendsThe people I met and friends I made while in Florence really made the experience special.

My CAPA program had students from all over the United States in it. I was able to make friends with people from California to Colorado, Texas, and Pennsylvania. I also was fortunate enough to make friends with locals in Florence through CAPA programs like “FriendMe” where I was able to meet Florentine high school students. I truly do have friends from all over the world now.

2. Memories

Studying abroad led me to some of the best memories of my entire life. This was a time for education and experience. The experiences I had while studying abroad are moments I will never forget. I saw the best sights of my life, enjoyed the most delicious cuisine, and shared it with some of my favorite people in the world.

3. A Sense of Independence

The David in FlorenceI was able to see some of the most historic art pieces of the Renaissance.

Traveling around Europe for the first time helped me grow more into an adult. I had to navigate through cities where I did not even speak the language. I budgeted my time and money in order to maximize my experience. I made the decisions on where I wanted to go. Now, I am coming back home as a stronger and more independent person. I am ready to face new challenges in the world, and I trust that I can get through anything.

4. A Thirst for Change

GnocchiI enjoyed the best cuisine in Florence I have ever tasted.

I have always been someone who was afraid of change. Living in a new country for three months with all new people directly challenged this fear of change. Everything was new to me. However, through this change I was able to embrace my new surroundings. I learned to love experiencing new places and meeting new people. Doing something new with my life helped me to grow and see the world in a new perspective.

5. The Travel Bug

Standing in front of the DuomoI cannot wait to be back in Florence some day again!

This was my first time traveling to Europe and my first time being outside of North America. In just three months I visited four completely new countries and countless new cities. The more I saw of the world the more I realized that I want to see even more. I am now already planning my next trips outside the US!

Although my time studying in Florence has come to an end, I think the journey has only just started. I now get to apply all the things I have learned there to my life. I know I will keep the things I learned and the experiences I had with me for the rest of my life. My time traveling and seeing the world has just now truly begun.

Thanks, Connor!

Connor McGlone

Connor McGlone is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2018, sharing his story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Marketing and Supply Chain Management major at  University of Pittsburgh, he is studying abroad in Florence this semester.

See more of Connor's journey in Florence.

Learn More about the CAPA Florence Program

Topics: Florence, Italy, Why Study Abroad