Living Abroad Week 1: Is the First Week Stressful?

Written by Mikaela February 1, 2016

Jet lag is real. I have never experienced jet lag in my life (also haven’t traveled overseas either), but I sure do feel the 7 hour time change! Then, as soon as I land in my new home country, it’s like BAM! Go to all my classes, plan travel trips for next weekend, socialize with new classmates, learn at least a little Italian, and (probably) do homework. And yet, I still feel that this first week has been AMAZING. Wait, what? Yes, this first week has been exciting and eye opening and here is why:

Since the first day we arrived on our new Italian campus, we have continually learned of all our opportunities that are ahead us, for example:

  • Paraglide down the beautiful Mount Grappa that stands tall over campus.
  • Casually plan to travel to Florence, Paris, Berlin, or Athens with your friends for a weekend.
  • Learn how to make Italian pizza with a professor.
  • Dress up to eat at 5-course dinners provided by CIMBA
  • Go home for dinner with an Italian student.

The list could keep going on. Though I am “studying abroad,” there are truly so many adventurous and exciting opportunities to do right away and in the future.

Then going beyond the excitement, the support of the community and CIMBA did not skip a beat. To start with just a couple examples:

  • The local sandwich shop owners, a cute elderly couple, were welcoming and excited to teach us how to order sandwiches in Italian.
  • The local cafe owner has been kind and delighted to help us order an espresso or glass of wine in Italian.
  • CIMBA organized “Survival Italian” and “Travel Orientation” classes to help us travel through Italy and other countries smarter.
  • CIMBA led us through Kepner- Tregoe training which guides us to think and problem-solve strategically.
  • The LIFE/LEAP programs started right away to counsel us to be better leaders.

Though the first week has kept me active and engaged as I still try to catch up on my sleep, I never thought once that I wasn’t enjoying where I was, who I was with, or what I was doing.

First week down, 11 more weeks to enjoy 🙂

-Mikaela D