Originally I was going to write my last blog on how it felt to return home from Italy, however I have not yet left. I will be getting home in two days and I am full of many mixed emotions. So because I don’t have time to explain what I’m sure will be a major culture shock for me returning to the states, I will explain how it felt going through the last week that I had left in Florence.

It was a struggle. The week was full of exams, studio work, studying and mostly just wanting to throw myself in front of a bus, so typical finals week. I muddled through the week trying to manage my time, study and fell comfortable before walking into the classroom to finish the semester. I will say I feel that this part of my week went well, but there was this sickening feeling that was haunting me almost every time I woke up. I wanted to spend my last week enjoying the time I had left with my new friends, and roommates. Instead I spent it stressed and in solitary preparing for school work.

Finally my finals were over! I took this time to have one last dinner with all my roommates and new friends. Each of my roommates and friends were due to head home the day directly after finals, whereas I was here for six more days. As I was packing my room began to look empty and foreign. It was like one of those movies you watch where you have a flashback of all the good times, and everything flashes before your eyes until you hit the last scene of the movie where the place is empty. My roommates even joked about how it was like a real life version of Real World. Me and Carey, last two in the house, the house cleaner than ever, I walk out the door, Carey watches me leave saying “see you soon”, close up scene of me and my bags, end with shot of the door and a lingering look back. To be honest that’s exactly how it went. I have spent my last five days in London with a new friend I made in Barcelona. Still the thought that I was going home had not yet hit me. You mean I can’t fly to a different country in two hours? That’s a hard thought to deal with. Needless to say my travels in London were over too fast and I now had to face coming home. I am happy, I am scared, nervous, well actually I can’t explain how I feel. I guess I will know how I feel when I get home. Right now though, I’m sad to be leaving such a beautiful place and beautiful people. This experience has changed my life, more than I think I realize at this moment, and I will never forget the adventures I have had. I hope one day I will get the opportunity to come back to Europe, I have considered studying abroad again, or maybe even living here. These are all possibilities which at first I was blind to. I feel this experience has opened my eyes to a new world of endless possibilities, and I don’t want to miss out on any. I would recommend this experience to everyone! Take a chance, make a change, you won’t regret it.

Krista Hove is studying abroad at Florence University of the Arts in Florence, Italy.