Here’s to New Adventures

Written by jessicaboucher January 13, 2024


Ciao ragazzi! My name is Jessica Boucher, and this semester I will be one of a few blog ambassadors for CIMBA.

First things first, a bit of information about myself: I am currently a Junior at the University of Connecticut (Roll Skies!) majoring in Marketing with a minor in Management. My goal for this blog throughout the semester is to tell the honest truth about my study abroad experience – the good, the bad, and everything in between.

At the time in which I am writing this, it is exactly one week away from my departure for Italy. It is difficult to conceptualize how I am feeling because – as I am sure many of you could relate – I am experiencing a vast array of emotions.

It goes without saying that I am THRILLED for this upcoming semester, and all of the wonderful experiences that will come with it. Since I was a little girl, it has been a dream of mine to not only visit Italy but to have the chance to immerse myself in its culture. Maybe there are some of you reading this like me who have not had many chances to travel and see new places. For that reason, traveling to Italy and the subsequent chance to see a variety of other European countries is extremely alluring.

Another thing I am super excited about for this upcoming semester is to meet all of my fellow travel enthusiasts! I have always strongly wanted to see what the world has to offer, and considering all of you are on this trip with me, I am sure you could say the same. Something unique about study abroad programs is that they provide the opportunity to meet like-minded people who may share the same travel goals as yourself.

From a personal perspective, I am also quite enthused to meet people from all over the United States as well. As you already know, I go to UConn. But what I haven’t said is that I was born and raised in Connecticut, and have been here my whole life! I am very excited to meet all of you from different states and backgrounds different from my own.

With all that being said, I must also admit that I have experienced some feelings of apprehension in preparation for this trip.

For starters, I already know that I am going to miss my family and friends very dearly. I am very fortunate to have people in my life that I love very much, but that has made accepting that I will be gone for the next three months difficult at times (although I am sure it will go by in the blink of an eye regardless).

Perhaps it is just me, but sometimes I can’t help but wonder about all of the things that I will be missing while away. I wonder what my friends at school will be up to without me around, all the inside jokes I may never understand, campus experiences I will miss, and so on. To combat this anxiety, I have just been reminding myself that I will be making a lifetime of memories while abroad that I could never acquire without this adventure.

Another factor that has been a cause of some unease is travel anxiety. As I previously said, I have not had many opportunities to travel far and wide, and I have certainly never flown as far as Europe! Furthermore, I have never once traveled alone before. While this is something that has caused me a lot of discomfort, I also recognize that it will be a challenge that will force me to step out of my comfort zone and grow as an individual.

At the end of the day, I see this semester for what it is: a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I am so incredibly eager for what is to come, and I absolutely cannot wait to meet you all!