AIFS Study Abroad Blog

Travel Programs: Advantages Outweigh Disadvantages

cinque terre italy travel program study abroad

Cinque Terre

Traveling to and from four major cities, along with pit stops along the way can be both amazing and stressful.

The biggest advantage obviously is that I was able to see four fashion capitals: London, Paris, Milan and Florence.

With a travel program, you never run out of new sights to see, places to go and things to do. The culture is different city to city as well, so your experience is that much more enriching, if brief. I have met so many wonderful people on this trip, from the girls I bonded with on the trip to the locals that helped me in the direction on the subway.

Another great thing about going to multiple countries is all the food there is to try! I started with fish and chips, went to macaroons and ended with pasta, lots and lots of pasta. With that being said, each city has so much to explore. It was always so exciting to get to a new hotel and unpack and get comfortable. I never thought I would be able to live out of a suitcase and eat out every night for a month, but it has gone by so fast and has been so much fun.

The thing with these cities is that they are so close to everything, especially in Italy. I took the train to the Cinque Terre to visit the Italian Riviera and the beach. I was able to visit both Rome and Venice because we had so much free time toward the end, and the trains are very convenient.

I may never get to come back here, and I know I won’t ever be as young. I may have signed up to go to four cities, but I ended up traveling through Europe. I have learned so much about traveling as a whole, which leads me to the disadvantages of so many cities in such a short time.

First of all, there wasn’t enough time to do everything! I really felt I had to prioritize what I wanted to do first to make sure I got it done. Once you start adapting to the city you’re in and learning how to navigate, you have to pack up and leave. It means you found your favorite cafe and restaurant and coffee place for the mornings and evenings, and then you have to let it go.

Above all though, the absolute worse part for me was loading and lugging around the luggage. Given, I had a little extra than I should. When the advisor tells you to pack light, that shouldn’t mean go buy another large suitcase because you’re buying too many items. But, I made it through pushing my carry-on bag on top of my rolling suit case, and pulling my other large suitcase behind me with my purse straddled to my side, four different times. We had to load our bags on and off the coach, walk to the train, lift everything into the train, find where your bags ended up on the train, get them off, walk to the coach again and then get settled in to the hotel. The next morning, my arms were spaghetti.

The advantages outweigh the negatives entirely. I would much rather explore and see multiple cities, especially while studying the fashion business, than to stay in one place and get comfortable. There was always an itch each time that made me so excited to see what the next city would be like and compare and contrast. When I look back at my Instagram, I cannot believe I am seeing my own pictures with all of the wonderful places I have been able to see, thanks to being part of a traveling program.

 

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