Doing a study abroad program is no easy feat. Not only are you adjusting to a new country, but you also may be surrounded by new classmates. Interacting with locals in Italy is also a new challenge. The beauty of Cortona however is that UGA has been there for 50 years, so everyone in town is excited to see the new crop of students. Don’t be afriad to smile and say hi to the merchants! Try researching some local customs to generally know about. The people of Cortona are generally very friendly and if you don’t know Italian, don’t fret. Just be patient and it will not be difficult to overcome a language barrier. In Cortona, we made friends with local people our age and bonded over common things like music! I’ve even connected with some of them on Instagram and Facebook. I tried to take any opportunity I could to make a friend. Who knows, maybe one day I will run into them again!