Ciao! Io viaggiato in Italia per sei settimane questo estate! That means, “Hi! I traveled to Italy for six weeks this summer!” I spent the first four weeks with a group of GVSU students from the Hospitality and Tourism Department traveling around northern Italy. We learned about food, culture, and tourism through two classes. We learned a lot, but did manage to find time to drink a lot of wine and eat lots of seafood and pizza.

From there, I traveled “da solo” after my program ended. I was picked up at the airport by friends of friends and escorted two hours south, where I spent four days in a small, mountainous village called Berceto. I was one of three English speakers in the village, so I was grateful for my two semesters of Italian. I was able to observe and participate in Italian language and culture on a first-hand basis, and this place was and is still my favorite place in all of Italy. After Berceto, I traveled by train to Roma, where I made friends at the Colosseo, stumbled upon the Pantheon, made a wish at the Fontana di Trevi, got lost in the Jewish district, and genuinely had a great time. Traveling alone was an unplanned, terrifying, interesting, challenging, eye-opening, once-in-a-lifetime kind of experience. I’ll spare you the “Studying Abroad Changed My Life” speech, but believe me, I don’t regret it.

I flew from Milan to California for a weekend wedding, where I was introduced to everyone as “The girl who flew from Milan,” then off to Texas to visit my cousin, then road tripped back to Michigan. I returned to work at Old Navy over the summer as a Sales Associate, and spent the last five days of summer volunteering as a Support and Guidance driver for a bicycle tour from Lansing to Sault Ste. Marie. I hope your summers were as great as mine! I’m excited for a new year and all of the great things we have in store for PRSSA and GrandPR!