Being back in Athens, it felt like my time in Italy flew in the blink of an eye. Regardless, I have so many amazing memories from my trip that made my summer an unforgettable one. From the small things like a nice dinner over a sunset to big memories like seeing the Sistine chapel at night, I treasure all of the memories I have from my trip. Since coming home I’ve had so many friends ask me how my trip was, and even though I often use words like amazing, unforgettable and even life-changing, I still feel like I’m not articulating just how incredible this experience was. Since coming home I can compare my time in Italy from how I live here, and the differences are humongous.

This Wednesday I’ll be starting my summer session of organic chemistry, and I just know that it won’t be anything like the Viticulture course I just finished taking. This course was amazing in the sense that we got to learn so much about a specific and practical topic, and then got to see the things we learned first hand. We learned about all the processes that enologists use to make the desired tastes in wine, and then through field trips to vineyards we were able to see all the machinery that ran the processes we learned about. We also learned about planting techniques used with grape vines to grow optimum grapes, whether it be through disease control, sunlight cover, root penetration, etc. In the same vineyards, we got the opportunity to see the planting techniques that each vineyard used, and they matched up with what we learned in class.

Being back in the United States, I can tell it’s not only going to be my classes that are going to be different. My whole lifestyle will be different from when I was staying in Cortona. While in Cortona I enjoyed walking in town, hanging around cafes, and just being out and about. Being home in the US, I know the things I enjoy to do will be different, and the change will be hard to overcome. However, all that time walking in town, hanging around cafes and being out and about has shaped me to be a new person, and I’m excited to see how this new me will approach my upcoming year at UGA. I’m so appreciative for this experience, because it truly was life changing.