After months of exploring the Eternal City, going home can see very bland, but it is up to you to keep the memories alive.
As I stated in An Introduction to Studying Abroad…It Can Be Scary, coming home can be one of the scariest things for study abroad students.
When my friends and I were leaving Rome, our director Dr. Dawson told us that the only people who were going to want to hear about our trips were our grandparents and our parents. No one else wanted to hear about all the amazing things that we saw.
When you first get home you won’t feel that you miss Rome because you’ll be with your family again, you’ll get to see your dog, and you’ll get to sleep in your own bed.
I didn’t fully comprehend how much I missed Italy until almost two weeks after I had returned. The Lizzie McGuire movie had just been added to Netflix and I decided to watch it. Bad mistake. In the movie I kept seeing places I had gone and I realized I missed it so much.
There is a couple of things though that you can do to keep your memories alive.
Talk to Your Study Abroad Friends
No matter if you text them or get coffee with them, talk to your friends that you studied abroad with. You can share memories with each other and joke about something that you saw online. While you’re not in Rome anymore, you’ll feel like you’re still there while talking to your friends about it.
Your friends also feel the exact same way as you so don’t feel like you’re alone in all of this.
Print Out Pictures
My dorm room is currently decorated with many of the things that I bought while I was abroad as well as some of my favorite pictures. It is a great reminder every day when I wake up and see the amazing experiences that I had in Italy.
If you want to get fancier than just printing pictures, check out the photo frame that I bought for my favorite photo (also pictured below):
Make a Scrapbook
Making a scrapbook helps you twice!
When you actual make the scrapbook you get to go through all of your memories and photos that you love! It is a great reminder of the amazing trips that you had while you were studying abroad.
Once you make the scrapbook, you can look at it a million times to remind yourself of all the amazing things that you saw while you were abroad (I’ve looked at my scrapbook thousands of times).
You can also show your scrapbook to everyone, as a quick summary of everything that you saw and everywhere you went.
Check out a really cool scrapbook at the link below:
Below is the cover photo of my scrapbook and it always reminds me of how beautiful and amazing my trip to Italy was. While I am no longer there and miss it very much, I will always have the most amazing memories from my time there.
So every time you think about your study abroad experiences, smile because those memories are once in a lifetime!