Posted by Austen Brodeen

Austen hard at work in Venice

These past five months have been the most amazing five months of my life so far. Through the ups and the downs, I have been having the most amazing time in Italy, from visiting the vineyards in Tuscany, all to way to jumping into a frozen lake in the Italian Alps on the coldest day of the year.

I have built several friendships with people from all over the world, like South Africa, Taiwan, Australia, Germany, and New Zealand. It has been great seeing how much I have grown since my first day in Italy. Learning Italian was my biggest struggle at the beginning of the year, but just recently I came to a realization with myself about how much my Italian has improved while listening to a presentation in Italian and being able to understand over eighty percent of what was being said.

Being five months into my exchange means that I only have five months left here on my exchange, but I have so much to look forward to in the upcoming months, like celebrating Carnivale (Mardi Gras) in Venice, skiing in the Italian Alps, exploring the Sicilian landscape, and traveling to other parts of Europe.