It has already been more than a month since the beginning of a new semester and some of us are still making amends with the university life and some of us have just gotten back to our usual routines. Also, this semester we have taken a new pledge not to leave studies till the last moment. Get good grades and a good-paying job.
In the midst of all of this, somewhere between all of you, there is an exchange student who’s perspiring right now since they have just left their own country and is on tour in yours.
That was me sometime back and needless to say, it was one of the most exhilarating times of my life.
The journey began when I had to go for an exchange semester from America to Italy for the fall season.
From the difference in the cultures to roaming different European countries, sometimes one by one or sometimes in a stretch was one such experience I won’t ever forget.
Starting from the registration of classes to settling in your dorm room.
From a grand welcome by the university to get to know different societies that you can be a part of.
From getting your student ID to figuring out what to eat, where to go, grocery shopping, whom to and how to make friends with(yikes) is tiring but worth it.
Once this is all figured, you start on your step 2, which is planning your grocery and other expenses and how are you going to manage your weekend travels.
Being a fan of backpacking, managing the food was not a problem with me, but deciding which countries to travel was defintely one.
As a student, you decide to go to the countries that are student-friendly and come under your budget, but of course, your heart would not want to shy away from the Eiffel Tower in Paris or the rhine fall in Switzerland.
Once that decision is done, then you have to leave aside a part of your budget to try those exquisite dishes and being in Italy there was definitely no scarcity. The pizzas, gelato, hot chocolate is worth craving for and no one can forget their Aperitivos which are special drink served in Italy.
Deciding the entire tour plan is also accompanied by deciding whom to travel with.
Whether your newly made friends are free or (even worth it?) or would they like to visit the same places as you would want to? Oh well, when does excel sheet come in actual use?
Leaping on the next step, do not forget to punch in the budget that you have kept aside for every of these visits and also which hostels to book, how to go about booking these hostels, which mode of transport to choose, what time do you board them and a lot more and all of this gets stored in your excel.
Future consultants ready.
Don’t forget when you come back from a tiring trip you have to submit the assignments by one of your professors, so a night before all that excitement you are busy annoying your roommates to tell the answer.
College parties and trying out the pubs is something that you can’t miss.
It’s not the fun of going to the pubs but its actually dancing to the different songs in a different language and seeing different people doing their own Despacito.
With all the fun, of course, the time arrives for the most dreaded situation. Final exams (be happy that you missed the midterms).
Well if that becomes a piece of cake or a mud slog to walk on depends on the previous night, but for me that gave a completely different vibe. What I was not interested in was discussing the answers later on.
After such a huge roller coaster of a semester, its time to bid goodbye to a wonderful experience. From registering for classes to giving exams, packing your dorm to having an emotional goodbye but a promise to keep in touch with all the wonderful friends, it was exhilarating to sum up all the memories but with an embedded excitement to celebrate Christmas with my family.
If given a chance, I would do it all over again multiple times.