An American Thanksgiving in Italy

Written by Elizabeth December 1, 2015

Still in awe by the beauty and wonder of Italy.

Blessed with a strong, supportive family. :)

Thankful that I found these girls on the floor below me in our freshman year dorm!

An old picture with my oldest, bestest friend!

The female half of CIMBA! New friends that I'm going to miss so much.

Hello world!

Today is Thanksgiving! I know that this post won’t go online for another week or so, but I wanted to take a few moments to put into words how thankful I am for this semester in Italy. I have so many things to be thankful for in life, but I’ve been especially blessed with the experience that is CIMBA. 

I’m thankful for…

…the 58 other CIMBA students. We came from schools all over the U.S., but now that we’ve been together for almost twelve weeks, it would be hard for an outsider to point out which students came from which schools. It’s been amazing to watch this group become closer, and I don’t know what I’m going to do when we’re not all living in the same building, let alone in the same states!

…the weekends of travel! Up until September 14, when we landed at the Venice Marco Polo airport for the first time, I had never been out of the country (aside from small trips to Canada). Now, I’ve been to Italy, the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Austria, and the Czech Republic! As I scroll through my photos, it’s hard for me to wrap my mind around all of the beautiful places that I’ve been.

…the Istituti Filippin. The Filippin Institute is where CIMBA is housed; it contains our dorms, our classrooms, and our dining hall. I am beyond thankful for the staff members that have worked hard to feed us three times a day, to make sure we always have clean sheets and towels, and to organize countless events behind the scenes. It’s been seamless and easy from the students’ side of things, and I know that a lot goes on to make it all happen.

…credits that transfer. CIMBA classes work with my major requirements at home. If it wasn’t for all the credits that are going to transfer back to my home university, I wouldn’t be here today. I’m thankful for the professors that have dedicated their time and energy to spending the semester at CIMBA with us. Their patience and understanding has made it possible to balance a full course load with a full travel itinerary!

…the Internet. While wifi at CIMBA isn’t always the greatest, the Internet has made it possible for me to stay in touch with family and friends at home. Between FaceTime, Skype, Gmail, WhatsApp, Google Hangouts, Snapchat, iMessage, and Facebook Messenger (you can see that the list goes on and on!), I’ve been able to message, call, and video chat with loved ones on a regular basis. Twelve weeks is a long time to be away from home, and having contact with people back home has helped to lessen the distance between Minnesota and Italy.

…my safety. There’s been a lot of yucky stuff going on in the world lately, especially in these last few weeks with unrest in Paris and Beirut and protests in Minneapolis. Paderno del Grappa is a safe haven in the midst of everything that is happening in the world around us, and I’m so thankful for the safe travels that the CIMBA students have been fortunate to experience. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we finish the semester, travel a little bit more, and make our way back to the U.S. in the next few weeks!

Of course, the list could go on and on, but this is what I’m feeling especially thankful for on this Thanksgiving Day. We had our Thanksgiving celebration at CIMBA on Tuesday night, and this afternoon, I’m headed to Prague! I hope that everyone has more turkey than they can eat, and more family and friends than they can count. Happy Thanksgiving!