I just wanted to update and share a little bit about my study abroad journey so far, and keep it going with updates!
So, I’m coming from Lancaster university, (UK), and I’m going on an Erasmus+ study abroad in Padova (Italy), located just outside of Venice!
If I could describe the journey so far, in just one word: emotional! So far my faith has been tested in every which way, stresses , disappointments , excitement !
It’s been a huge rollercoaster. However, we thank God.
Padova wasn’t actually my first choice , I had wanted to go to a university in Milan at first, however I was allocated Padova and fell in love with it.
I’ve really learnt how to be patient, and how to wait! A lot of the procedures such as the applications , choosing modules, etc , began later than most of my other peers, so while others were sorting out visas and flights, I was still waiting to hear what modules I could even choose ! (The stress of waiting is something else, I’ll tell you that!), to the point where I was even uncertain if my place was confirmed, or was I staying in England! While others were jetting off, I was still here not even knowing where I was going to stay.
I’m someone who likes to be a bit ahead, have a plan, however a lot of things were out of my control, so I really had to learn how to wait, and it was painful.
Accommodation! Was my biggest stress. So unfortunately I wasn’t given university owned residence in the first round , (end of July I got the email), and they advised that I look online for houses , and look out for the email for reallocation in August! It was like every house I’d see that I liked, the moment I went to contact the owner, it was gone. It was just a constant cycle of disappointment ! And to top it off, come August , I wasn’t re allocated , but they told me to fly out earlier , and have a look on the ground (in Italy) for housing !
Fast forward two weeks later , I arrive in Padova , armed with a weeks worth of clothing and a weeks booking of a B&B, and booked a one way ticket here! I had told myself that if by a week I’ve not yet found a house, I’m extending my visit, and staying until I find one.
I was trying everything, finding flyers around the city centre, contacting housing agents , and student groups! I was running around the city, one end to the other, going to house viewings!
Until thankfully , I found an apartment which I really liked , and by the third day of the visit I had signed my contract !
And currently , back to England I go, to grab and pack the rest of my clothes, and things to bring here, so I can move next week !
Honestly! It’s really been the biggest experience of my life. However, through it all I’ve seen the support of people around me, times I’ve called a friend crying because I’ve lost hope, or even my poor mum having to hear me complain for the 100th time!
I learnt that sometimes you’re not in control of your situation , or your circumstances , and there’s nothing we can do about it. What we can do, is control how we react. Do what we can, but don’t stress about something that’s not in your control.
God will sometimes allow things to happen, for a reason!
If I had found accommodation, I never would’ve come for the week, gotten to know the city , walked around and learnt the areas, knowing which places are better to stay in, which aren’t. If I never would’ve gone through this experience so far, I maybe wouldn’t have met the lovely people I did who helped me around the city , or the friends I made who had come early. I had the chance to roam around the uni , before all the students were there! So a bit quieter lol!
We may not always see the benefit of situations as they’re happening, and I’ve realised retrospect is a gift, looking back you can truly see how God has been faithful and so good.
I’ve had to put on my big girl boots, and just getting on with what I can that’s strengthened my character. That everything I’ve dealt with, good and bad has been almost like a preparation for greater things to come!
So as I write this driving through Venice , towards the airport, I just wanna encourage someone that, there’s always a greater! Things may be so so crap, and out of your control, but just do what you can. Do your best, but allow God to do the rest!
Don’t stress over things you can’t control either!
Until next time
~ peace, joy & love
P.S, learning the language is so important before you go abroad! Just listening to it, hearing the words and phrases , learning grammar. So that when you’re there, you pick up what they’re saying, and what things mean. It’s always the best learning when you’re immersed in the country, however , learning a few things prior, I would recommend !