I don't even know where to begin. Ever since I started college, I was determined to study abroad in Italy. As the days neared my departure, the nerves began to settle in. I wish I could have told myself when I felt unsteady about this upcoming experience, that it was about to be the best six months of my life.
Torino was absolutely amazing and USAC could not have made me feel more at home. I lived in an apartment in midtown with three American girls who to do this day are still some of my best friends. Our apartment was quaint, beautiful, and the best part- quite affordable. We even had the cutest landlord, an elderly Italian man, who barely spoke any English. On Easter, he bought us a cake and delivered it up to our apartment to ensure we had a great day.
The Italians were the most unique, interesting, lively people I have ever had the pleasure to meet. They have this wonderful quality about themselves, where they truly live. They indulge in all things to make a "docle vita": great vino, great food, great conversations, great work schedules.. great everything.
One of my favorite things about where I lived in Torino, was Parco Valentino. Parco Valentino was about a five minute walk from my apartment and it is the largest park in Torino. It is full of people reading, playing soccer, sunbathing, drinking wine, and just enjoying each others company. It is also where many clubs are located as the weather warms up.
Among the many great things in Torino is the weather. You are right in the mountains, so walking to class you can see the infamous Alps. In the winter you get some snow and some rain. And in the summer, you get a purely perfect heat. Regardless of the weather, you never need an excuse to eat gelato!
The school you attend for USAC is called SAA. It has great classes with even better teachers. Each of my teachers were personable and fascinating. You also attend a school full of other Italian students so you have many opportunities to become friends with the locals. The staff are also some of the best people I have ever met and will do anything to make sure you get the experience of a lifetime.
Studying abroad gives you the opportunity to travel and see the world. You can hope on a Ryanair flight for a cheap price and be anywhere in Europe. I spent about half of my semester traveling through Europe and the other half hanging out and experiencing Torino. It was a perfect balance.
You may be thinking that this life I described sounds too good to be true, but I promise you it is not. Take the chance. Hop on a plane and you will realize the second you get there, that this will be the best six months of your life. The cultures you'll experience, the relationships you will make, the food you will indulge in- nothing can compare to a blissful life in Italia. It is completely worth every penny. And trust me, the moment it comes to be taking your steps on a plane back home, you will want to run the other way. It is my second home, and it could be your, too!