Last weekend I took my final trip to Florence to see two amazing friends. It was only as I was boarding the plane to go back to Dublin did I fully realize that I had spent my last weekend abroad in Italy. I have begun the final countdown to getting back to New Jersey. Although I am ready to return, I am a bit reluctant to leave. After all, Dublin has been my home for months now.
This summer I was interning in Los Angeles, California and returned home only two days before beginning my study abroad session here. I had no time to readjust to being home before being thrown into my next adventure. I am looking forward to resting at home for awhile before beginning my second semester abroad at the Champlain Abroad Montreal’s campus. For students who have not spent significant time away from home, I highly recommend taking some time to readjust before going onto the next adventure. I wouldn’t trade either experiences I have had in my yearlong journey, but it was challenging to adapt at the beginning and it will be hard to adapt being home again.
When I return home it will only be for three weeks before going onto Montreal, but I have a few ideas on how to make the adjustment easier:
- Don’t stop doing the things you love. I absolutely adore picking out my own bread and other baked goods early in the morning. It is so much healthier (and tastier) than prepackaged goods. If it doesn’t work into your budget, why not bake the treats you love?
- Going off the first point, I learned how to cook some delicious meals while abroad: Pesto Garlic Chicken, Vegetable Soups, etc. Your friends and family will definitely appreciate the home cooked meals.
- Stay in touch with the people you met. One of my friends from Los Angeles was studying abroad in Paris, so we made a point of meeting up with each other a few weeks ago. She may even come visit in Montreal or when I am in New Jersey. She goes to school in Hawaii, so I wouldn’t mind visiting her either. It keeps the spirit of study abroad alive and true friends are such a gift.
- Get involved with your campus’s study abroad program. If Champlain Abroad will let me, I want to tell all the incoming students about my experiences so far and encourage them to take a chance. One of the biggest regrets from my friends and family who graduated was that they didn’t go abroad. Don’t be that kid.
While I am excited to return home, it will be a bittersweet happiness. Until I see my dog. Then I can’t promise anything.
Champlain Abroad Dublin, Fall 2014
Champlain College, Management of Creative Media, class of 2016