Finishing the maymester and packing up to leave was very bitter-sweet. In this picture, you can see strangers that became friends and our beloved TA just before the banquet. Of course I was excited to see my friends and my family that I had missed while I was away but in Cortona, I made so many new friends that I hope to keep for a very long time. On our last day, everyone had packed up their bags enjoying the hours we had left and Cortona. I honestly do not know if I’ll ever go back so these memories hold a very special place in my heart. To close the program we had a banquet with our professors and the program directors. This fantastic restaurant was hidden on a side street near the square. Our amazing food was paired with wines provided by a local wine shop that we worked with closely throughout the program. One of my favorite people that I met on my trip was Dr. Lockwood. He is a professor that works for both UT Knoxville and UGA Extension. To say he’s an expert in the field is putting it lightly. He’s one of the kindest men I’ve ever met in my entire life and always made everyone in the class feel so special and important. I feel extremely lucky to have been taught by him and enjoyed his company over the time of the trip. I believe he has been doing the program for 13 or 15 years now and I hope he never stops so everyone can be as lucky to know him as we all were. While we were at the banquet he stood up and gave a toast and thanked everyone for being on the trip and for sharing the experience with him. I don’t think there was a single person in that courtyard who wasn’t sad to say goodbye. This night was probably one of the most memorable evenings because everyone knew that they were moving on from something really special and taking away something that they probably did not expect to learn. When I look at this picture now at home it makes me grateful for the time I had abroad and I hope that everyone has a chance to have the same experience.

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