20140207_103244“There was no way I could have prepared for the experiences I’ve had while studying abroad. I’ve heard the stories and quotes about how important it is to your education to see the corners of the world first-hand, but when you’re in the thick of it, when you’re stuck in the center of a city you’ve never seen before and listening to a language foreign and unfamiliar, everything changes. The way you see people, the way you walk, the way you dress, the figure in the mirror even becomes something magically different. To learn about politics or art or life in another country is one thing, but to feel the anger in the voice of a protester in a different language, to be able to touch the marble of a statue older than America itself, to be draped in the fabrics of a foreign culture, life flips upside down. And you find yourself smiling in wonder, loving every second of it.”

“I’ve learned more here in three months than I think I have in the past year. Taking an Italian Renaissance Art class in the middle of the city where the Renaissance was born, to see centuries-old art literally on every street corner, inspires an admiration impossible to imitate in any classroom or textbook anywhere. I’ve heard people on the street reference long-dead Italian theorists and revolutionaries I’d only learned just the day before in my politics course. I’ve sat, awe-struck, through a production of an Italian opera over 100 years old.”

“I used to spout out about how I wanted to change the world one day. Coming here, taking this one small step into the future, has shown me how incredibly big a task that will be, but also how possible it will be.” – Nick Major

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Article by Nick Major