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Don’t Fall In Love

by Trish Bradle

I did what everyone told me not to do: fall in love.

I fell in love with the city of Rome, I fell in love with the friends I made along the way and I fell in love with traveling. Now, when people were telling me this, they meant not to fall in love with an Italian so I wouldn’t want to move there. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, and I, unwillingly, returned home after the three week program was up. I would give anything to be able to be in Rome right now, eating pizza and exploring with the new friends I made. I would 100% recommend this program to anyone who asked.

study abroad rome italy friends studentsFrom day 1, it was go, go, go and I am so thankful for that. There is so much to see in Rome, and Italy in general, but Richmond made sure our days could be as packed as we wanted them. From wine tastings, art tours, cooking classes and more, I did as much as I possibly could. Through these events I met some of the greatest people and we became closer than I expected. My time in Rome would not have been anywhere near as fun without them. We’ve shared a ton of inside jokes, along with so many wonderful memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

Our final day in Rome consisted of our final exam and a final walk through the city, picking up souvenirs and late Christmas presents. While walking around with three other friends, it hit me that there’s a chance I might not see these people again. Sure there is social media and texting to keep in touch, but I wouldn’t be able to wake up and make plans with them later. I knew right then that I would have to plan a trip to see everyone.

We had a final dinner planned with Richmond and it was amazing. The restaurant prepared different foods for us to try and, of course, it was all delicious. Saying goodbyes to friends and faculty at this dinner was the hardest part. I grew so close with these people in only three short weeks, and I was going to miss them like I have known them my whole life. I couldn’t have asked for anything better.

My advice to anyone debating whether to take the leap and study abroad? Do it.

This was the greatest decision I have ever made, and it has prepared me to make better decisions in life. Now I know I can travel abroad alone and be able to handle it; now I know how easy it is to make friends in different places; and now I know how much I have grown as a person. I had people tell me that I would love it, but I didn’t realize how much I would love it. If you get the chance, take the opportunity and run!

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