The end is near – A study abroad blog by Lexi Westphal

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Ciao from Roma for the last time!

4 months…4 classes… 7 countries… 4 Italian cities… food…friends… and most importantly… memories that’ll last a lifetime. That is how I describe my study abroad experience. I got to see so many different places and learn so many different cultures in the last 4 months and I am honestly so thankful. But, before I get all sappy about this experience, let’s start from where I last left off.

image2I traveled to Tuscany on a day trip for a long day of wine tasting and pairing with Bus-2-Alps, which is a weekend travel company that students use when they are too lazy to plan their own trips. Haha, not really, but sort of. It was a beautiful day. I got to see the Tuscan countryside (again) and taste and learn about many traditional wines from the vineyards in Tuscany.

A week later, I traveled to Paris (round 1) for the weekend with my roommates and needless to say, Paris is beautiful. I went to my favorite macaroon store (Laduree) and got 6 of the most mouthwatering, tasty, AND EXPENSIVE macaroons of my life. Worth every step and Euro. We visited the Eiffel Tower of course, the Louvre, and the catacombs, which we stood in line for 2 and a half hours in 40 degree weather to see, but it was worth it. We ate street crepes and saw the Notre Dame Cathedral. It was a fabulous weekend.

SPRING BREAK

image3For spring break this year, we traveled to Greece. We spent one day/night in Athens and then 5 days in Santorini. Greece had the best food and the most beautiful scenery. We rode ATV’s around Santorini and saw the red and black beaches. We rode donkeys up the side of the mountain (which was soooo cool for only 5 Euros). We lounged and enjoyed the stress free environment that Greece had to offer.

I was fortunate enough to have my boyfriend fly across the world to see me for 11 days in the beginning of April. We traveled to Florence and Venice and Paris (round 2). I am beyond thankful to have someone care about me that much to take time away from work to see Italy and experience Europe with me for 11 days; we made memories that we will never forget. I think the best part about his time in Europe was when we visited Disneyland Paris and he was basically jumping and running to the front gates yelling “I’M SO PUMPED!” It was so cute, he was like a little kid in a candy store. Although it rained the entire day that we spent in Disney, it was worth it and he was definitely excited about getting a meal at Planet Hollywood and riding on Space Mountain and the Tower of Terror!

Shortly after his departure back to the US, we traveled to London, England for my best friend (and roommate’s) 21st birthday! There’s something about London that screams rain, real broke college student and Chipotle. London was by far the most expensive city that we visited so far. They really aren’t scared to make you pay 25 pounds for a train ticket 30 min to the airport. However, Sierra had a nice birthday and we were happy to get back to Rome where we paid 8 Euros for a train ticket all the way across Rome to where we lived J.

image5This last weekend was our last trip in Europe. We visited Barcelona, Spain for 3 days. Barcelona is beautiful and I did not want to leave!!!! We ate Churros and Tapas and loved every second of that. We visited Park Guell where the mosaics were breathtaking. The colors and details that were put into the tiles in that park were gorgeous. We stayed in a nearby town called Sitges, where they have the most beautiful beaches. We were beach bums the entire last day we were there and loved every second of that also. I am so sunburned and not wearing sunscreen was probably not my smartest idea. But, when you study abroad you learn that you 1. Don’t want to buy sunscreen in a different country because they will just take it away from you at security if it’s more than 3 oz. and 2. Because you are too poor to afford it at this point in the semester anyways!

image7Okay, enough babbling about my great life in Europe. As my experience comes to an end (12 official days left), I am beyond anxious to see my friends and family and to graduate, but I am also sad about leaving all the friends I have made abroad and the experiences I have endured. I want to thank all my friends and family, especially my parents, for giving me this amazing opportunity. I could not have done it without you all.

 

Cheers to 4 months in Europe and see you soon, Wisco!

 

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