“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened”

Only five (almost four) days remain until I leave to go home to America. I cannot believe it. Where did the past three months of my life go?

I have only just begun to reflect on my time here and frankly, I don’t even know where to start. I have gone through so much and seen so many new things in the past 80 days. It truly has been an incredible journey, especially due to the camaraderie we have here. I don’t think I will fully realize how this experience has changed me until I am home.

But for now, I thought it would be appropriate to sign off as a CIMBA Fall 2012 ambassador with a list of the top five things I’ll miss about CIMBA. Here goes nothing…

Enjoying gelato in Bassano

(5) Gelato. Italy, you have forever spoiled me with your delicious gelato, from fragola to lampone to cremino to ciccolato, I love it all. Especially the fact that my friend Tyler and I share a bond over gelato…we make it a mission to get some together every time we go to Bassano. Oh, gelaterias, what will I ever do without you? I fully plan on eating my weight in gelato this last Saturday in Venice.

PdG campus

(4) Waking up to the view of Mt. Grappa outside my window everyday. I will miss the beauty of our quaint little town that is Paderno. Even though we have done our fair share of complaining about the inconveniencies of such a small town, I believe it’s played a huge role in making us that much closer. Not to mention it has made our trips to Bassano, the nearest city, an event that we all looked forward to.

Pizzeria with good friends

(3) Pizzeria nights. I’ll never forget the first evening we discovered Al Sole, the pizzeria a few blocks from campus. It was definitely one of the best nights at CIMBA and marks one of our first bonding experiences. Since then, the pizzeria has become our favorite hang out spot and CIMBA wouldn’t be the same without it. Including the wonderful couple/owners that put up with us!

Oregon Ducks at the Colosseum

(2) Traveling. Need I say more? I have traveled to 8 countries these past three months, having before only seen the U.S. and Canada, and my eyes have been widened so much. I feel like I’m just beginning to see and understand the world and I cannot wait to travel more. Our world is beautiful and I feel so blessed to have experienced some of the sights that some people only dream about. Traveling abroad with my peers has built up my confidence dealing with new places, talking to strangers, and just learning to go with the flow. The best part is I got to experience all the ups and downs with my CIMBA family. We have made so many unforgettable memories.

Half of the CIMBA family after LIFE

(1) My CIMBA family. I never imagined I would feel so close to this group of strangers at the end of my journey. Everyone I know that’s studied abroad has never mentioned being close to their group of students, and I now realize CIMBA is truly unique in that way. Throw 76 American college students together in the same dorm building in a small Italian town, make them eat 3 meals a day together, and force them to go through an intense leadership training, and it’s inevitable they become close. The people I’ve met here at CIMBA are incredible, kind, loving individuals who have taught me so much. From accidentally saying “y’all” since I’ve been around so many Southerners, to crying on each others’ shoulders, to sharing inside jokes, to giving each other nick names, to singing “Don’t You Worry Child” together, I will never forget my CIMBA family. I love you all <3

In the wise words of Dr. Seuss, “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” CIMBA 2012, thank you for the best experience of my life.

This post was cross-posted to https://www.biz.uiowa.edu/cimba.

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