As it was my first time in Europe, there was so much that I wanted to see. I also knew that this was potentially the last time I would be in this part of the world for a while. With this in mind, I planned to visit as many places as possible, while being mindful of my academic schedule. Over the course of my semester in Italy,I was able to travel with friends from IU who were fellow students like me in Milan and my mother.
One of the countries that I was able to visit was Greece. I loved it so much that I went on two separate occasions. The first time was to Mykonos and the second was to Athens. Both places are wonderful but for different reasons. The history and city of Athens is a stark contrast to the beaches and country land of the island of Mykonos. The people were all extremely kind and welcoming. The food was delicious and it seemed like both of these places were alive all night. I would like to visit more of the Greek islands in the future.
Most of my time was spent on the continent of Europe, though I was able to go to Africa. This was amazing. I never really considered the fact that I might be able to visit Northern Africa. I went to Marrakech, Morocco. We visited the souk or market, saw the main square, and went camel riding. The souk was ornate and eccentric, it would be easy for someone to get lost in the market. The square had horses, fruit markets, snake charmers, and monkeys. The palm trees and flowers indigenous to the area were beautiful, as well. throughout the city there were beautiful mosques and crowds of people. When we went to ride the camels, there were people from all walks of life on our tour. People from China, France, South America, Spain, Africa, and the United States were present. The best part about this trip was that I was able to do all of this with my mother.
Although I loved traveling to different countries every weekend, I wanted to make sure that I was spending enough time in Milan to truly get the experience of living in an Italian city. One of the best experiences from my travels was becoming a babysitter and English tutor for a Milanese family. I was able to see the inner workings of a typical family from northern Italy. the cultural differences were apparent, but that did not have an impact on our relationship. It was difficult to say goodbye to the family, but we had a wonderful dinner together and have stayed in touch.
Although I only mentioned 4 places that I have visited, these are some of the places that had the greatest impact on my experience. I am so appreciative for the opportunity to study abroad, and the support that OVPDEMA has provided me with.