Over the past four months here I have been extremely thankful that I have chosen to study abroad in Florence this semester. At first I was a little nervous about living in a different country with a different culture than what I was used to for four months, but then when I arrived here I was completely blown away by how much I loved it here. Of course there was an adjustment period where all I wanted was America this and America that but now that I am 10 hours away from going back home to Wisconsin, I have realized that Florence has become my second home. My daily routine from America has been Italy-fied (if that’s even a word) and I have learned to adapt to the cultural changes and make the most out of my experience here. I have learned to read a map, improved my sense of direction, learned how to cook (my family is still in denial of this but I fully intend to show them with a full-blown Italian meal), seen original pieces of art that I have studied, learned a new language, and so many other things that I just can’t put into words. I’m not processing that we are leaving so soon, but I truly am excited to come home!

As a memorial to my time here, here are my Top 5 Lists of Italy and Home. These four months have truly been a wonderful experience and I would do it again in a heartbeat!

Top Five Things in Italy I Will Miss:

1. Open-air markets

2. Renaissance Artwork

3. The food, especially the PIZZA and pistachio gelato!!

4. Walking everywhere

5. Hearing a different language besides English every single day, i.e. Italian, German, French, Japanese, etc.

Top Five Things I Am Looking Forward To Back Home:

1.  Being home for the Holiday.

2.  Seeing my family and my dog for the first time in four months.

3. Peanut butter.

4. Having heat for more than eight hours a day.

5. A dryer!!

Alexis Achs is studying abroad at Florence University of the Arts in Florence, Italy.