My group of friends that I met the first night during our “Welcome to Cortona” Wine Tasting.

Pre-departure was one of the hardest parts of the study abroad experience for me at least until I realized I was worried about nothing. My biggest concern was flying that far away by myself as I was not on the main flight that most of the UGA students were on. I had only been on a plane a couple of times, and I flew with a big group of people and a teacher that told me where to go and what to do. With the Atlanta airport being one of the busiest in the world, I was overwhelmed, to say the least, but it was a lot easier to navigate than I had expected. I also met some of the few UGA students on my flight and just stuck with them throughout our connecting flight and when we arrived in Rome. Another one of my main concerns was not knowing anyone that was a part of my program nor any way to really connect with anyone since I attend the Tifton campus. This worry was probably the most insignificant because there were very few people who actually knew each other besides being in the same class or knowing mutual people. Everyone is trying to make friends as they arrive, so it was easy to find my group on the first night. The only other thing that had me somewhat concerned was the things I was bringing with me. I was terrified of forgetting something very important since that is something I would definitely do or somehow not have a document I didn’t know I was supposed to have. Although the likeliness of that happening was slim, the thought was still in the back of my head. As a girl, part of this concern was also packing the right clothes, which I did not do efficiently looking back. We were told that it was going to get cold at night and sometimes during the day, but it rarely dropped below 80 degrees. With that being said, it is best to pack warm clothes with a couple of layer options as there is no air conditioning anywhere. I am glad that all of my concerns turned out to be not that big of a deal in the end and everything worked out in the way it was supposed to.