Arrivederci Italia!

by Julietta Wright, September 9, 2016

Arrivederci Italia! I am sad to say I will be leaving Italy by the end of the week. I have been interning for the last 6 months and man did the time fly! I am so grateful for the support I’ve had through the KCT with being able to apply my scholarship to this abroad experience! Working and living in a small town in central Italy has been quite the learning experience- from the 6-day work weeks in the (massive!) bakery laboratory I definitely learned a lot about large scale production- imagine hand rolling about 2,500 ciambellini al sagrantino or pumping out 25 full sheet quadri/entrements in just half a work day! I would say most of my learning though wasn’t just bakery based. Being in a foreign country, you realize your way of life can be so different than someone else’s- and even those minute differences matter.

I feel like this experience has been one of the most challenging experiences I’ve ever faced; learning the language day by day really forces you to listen, to watch, and to adapt. It was humbling in many ways- but it also pushed me in so many others. I won’t sugar coat the experience by saying it was wonderful and everything was great- there were days I cried and panicked and was overwhelmed (I think that’s normal though when you work 6 days a week and are also taking 4 online classes)- but there were also days I laughed and smiled because I know I am so lucky to have had this experience. I miss home, but I know once I get back to Chicago I’ll miss my Italian home- from the chorus of “Mama Mia’s” to the simple yet amazing food culture.

I know I have taken a lot away from this experience; not only have I seen some beautiful places in Italy- everywhere from Bologna, to Spello, to Napoli- but I’ve also learned to appreciate what being an American means as well. This was very surprising I will admit- but living abroad has made me grateful for the life I’ve had and the American spirit I have instilled in me. In conclusion, I am thankful as always to have such wonderful support systems through Kendall and can’t wait to get back to Chicago and continue with my degree! Grazie Mille!