Goodbye from Prato, Italy

Takeisha Sinclair

What a bittersweet feeling it is to know that this is our last week here in Prato, Italy. It definitely does not feel like it has been three months that we have been here because of how fast time flies. It has been an amazing and insightful experience that neither myself nor any of the students will ever forget, as we have shared this opportunity together. As we complete our finals, pack our whole lives into our suitcases again, and get ready for our Farewell Dinner, we will reflect on how this once in a lifetime opportunity will affect us so greatly as we progress into our careers and the development of ourselves as we get older.

The Pope’s important visit through Prato, Italy on Nov. 12, 2015; Italians and our students had the chance to see the Pope from such a small distance while waving to him as he passed our UNH Tuscany campus. It was a very exciting moment for Italy and, of course, us, UNH’s students studying here. This was definitely one of the best highlights of our experience studying abroad. It was also a different kind of Thanksgiving break for us here as we were so far away from our families this year. Some of us stayed on campus, while others did more traveling to other countries such as Spain, the Netherlands, Morocco, and other parts of Italy, such as Naples. Some students even had the chance to see family members here in Italy while studying abroad. This was definitely a great way to spend Thanksgiving!

Although we made the best of it while being here, whether it was traveling or just having a meal with our friends here, there is nothing like experiencing a holiday without your family for the first time!

Personally, I was very saddened by it, but speaking to my family made me feel better as they reminded me that this opportunity is beyond a great experience, and that I will remember spending Thanksgiving abroad.

As we wrap up this semester with finals buried in our books studying while trying to pack our suitcases before Friday, we are reminded of how much we will miss it here in Italy. We can still remember and feel the excitement we experienced in August to start our journey abroad to the mixed feelings we have now three and a half months later as we return home.

It is a very sad feeling especially because we indulged in a different culture for such a time while actually living here. We were able to make Italy our home for three and a half months. We are enjoying our last four days here on UNH’s Tuscany campus before heading back to our loving family and friends. We couldn’t have thank enough our Dean, Kevin Murphy, his wife, Sylvia, and the staff, Mickey, Samantha, and Lara, who have been there from the minute we touched down in Italy to our departure, this Friday.

We are extremely thankful for such a supportive and loving staff that made sure we were comfortable every step of the way! We will miss all of our professors who made learning in Italy such a special experience by how interactive and caring they were to each of us. I, myself, will greatly miss my Italian professor, Mr. Ianniello, who I had the pleasure of getting to know in the classroom and on the field, when I would trip him in soccer.  It is our inside joke that I will always remember. I’m sure the other students can’t wait to visit Italy again, but I know for sure, I can’t wait to visit the staff again.

We all loved this beautiful country and are excited to represent UNH Tuscany’s campus for the rest of our lives! Ciao, Rigazzi! See you in January, 2016!