Navigating the Emotional Farewell Before Studying Abroad

Written by jayneclairevincent January 22, 2024

Howdy! My name is Jayne Claire Vincent. I’m one of the CIMBA blog ambassadors for the Spring 2024 semester! I’m super excited to be able to document all that this upcoming semester has to offer, but first things first, a little intro to start us off. I am a junior at Berry College studying International Business with a focus in Management. I have been passionate about learning about different cultures since I was little. Houston, Texas is where I call home. Known for being a melting pot of diverse cultures, I feel as though Houston has ignited a passion for exploring new and exciting things.

During my first time abroad, I was gone for six weeks, and I never felt terribly homesick. Instead, after returning home, I was diagnosed with a case of the travel bug. Ever since then, I’ve known that traveling would have a significant effect on my life.

As I prepare to leave home tomorrow, I remind myself that while this will not be my first time abroad, it will be the longest time I have spent across the pond.

Embarking on this journey to study abroad is undeniably exciting – a chapter I believe will be filled with new friendships, cultural discoveries, and academic adventures. However, paired with the excitement is the harsh reality: having to say sweet goodbyes to family and friends. I’m genuinely grateful that I have people in my life who make it hard to say goodbye. It’s a testament to how I have been blessed with meaningful friendships. Nonetheless, saying goodbye before packing up my suitcase has been a bittersweet combination of emotions, including eagerness for the unknown and tender farewells to the familiar. But I remind myself that goodbyes are not an endpoint but a transition into another chapter.

One thing I have recently learned is that you can hold several emotions at once. You can be both happy and sad, excited, and nervous. On the one hand, I’ll dearly miss my senior friends as they walk through their last semester as undergraduates, going to the Houston Rodeo with my sister on spring break (a family tradition) and sitting in the living room of my cottage, recapping each other’s day with my roommate. On the other hand, I can’t wait to walk the streets of Italy listening to Rick Steve’s audio tours, learning from my professors where the best places are to visit on the weekends, finding the best local spots, and building friendships with locals!

So, rather than solely thinking about what I might miss out on here in the States, I have been filling my mind with what I am most looking forward to about Italy! One of those things is sitting at a café, having quiet time, soaking in the sun, and enjoying a good cup of coffee.

While at home, I’ve been practicing a little bit of Italian, specifically how to order a croissant and coffee. There have been several times this past week I have caught myself daydreaming about ordering “un caffè con latte, no zucchero e un cornetto” at a local café, sitting outside, journaling in my notebook or maybe typing away on my laptop with the chilly northern Italian breeze.

The possibilities of what this semester holds are endless, and I so look forward to using this blog to document all the crazy, amazing things that will end up occurring over the next 12 weeks.

I hope you’ll join me as I share the good, the bad, and everything in between this semester! I promise to be honest, documenting and communicating with you as I process emotions, face challenges, and try my best to describe Europe’s beauty.

Now, I must catch my flight, talk soon! Ciao!