Returning to Siena
Returning to Siena
By Gabrielle Calabrese
The idea of leaving house, home and country is a generally daunting thought for many. Although it might seem scary initially there could not be a better opportunity than studying abroad. Siena’s study abroad program is something that everyone here should take advantage of. If it’s possible financially and academically, it’s something that everyone should do. It is a life changing experience that will never leave you.
However, as rewarding of an experience as it is, it is not always the easiest. At first it may be difficult to adjust to such drastically new surroundings and people; particularly if culture shock, and language barriers are a factor, as they so often can be. As hard as it may or may not be at first, nothing compares to coming back home after going abroad. Leaving Glasgow was so much harder than leaving home months before. Although it was difficult to leave home, it is an entirely different feeling to leave a place you have connected to and made your own unlike any other.
It is wonderful to be back with friends and family, to have spent the holidays at home with good food and good people. Yet, returning to Siena has been an extremely odd experience. It almost felt wrong to be driving back to school rather than driving back to the airport. Every other person I have spoken to about returning from going abroad just wants to go back. We all feel the same way, it is great to be back with friends and yet something is now missing. Siena is our home away from home, where we have met and made great people and friends, the lifelong connections that will forever affect us. The conflict in coming back is rooted in the fact that even though it is just a few short months away, or even a year, it is such a monumental experience that it rivals almost three years of close relationships and brilliant memories here at Siena.
Nothing can compare to living and learning in a foreign country, it opens your eyes in ways that one cannot even fathom. Returning to Siena with a new perspective, changes everything, perhaps depending on where one has gone to study it has influenced a change in major or a future job option. Although Siena is the same as it was, and yet I, and most definitely everyone else that has gone abroad has come back changed. It is not to say that we are entirely different people than we were before we left, but we have changed in more ways than can be counted. All that have gone away and returned have come back with new experiences, memories and stories. Studying abroad is the best possible opportunity one could ever ask for.