Arrivederci Siena! The end of my Year Abroad
As of over two weeks ago, I flew back to the UK for the final time, closing the chapter of my Year Abroad and having to face the fact my time in Colombia and Italy is well and truly over. And what a chapter it was…
Even though it has been two weeks since I left, it feels like at least a year since I finished my last Italian exam, and hurried back to my home in Siena, to get ready for my leaving dinner. Yes, thanks to an internship back in the UK, I had only two days between ending my exams, and flying back home, which resulted in two crazy days of packing, paperwork, and of course, pasta with my Erasmus family to celebrate the last six months in Siena.
My final photoshoot on our trusty roof terrace
Whilst I didn’t actually have to pass my exams, I thankfully did, meaning that I am just one 1,000 word essay away from finishing all the work set for me this year before I truly have to confront the fact that my final two years await me… Yikes. However, part of me recognises that if I have survived and passed the sheer chaos that is Italian exams, Warwick is nothing. In fact, it was my last exam, which should have been a simple 15-minute conversation about snooty cinema (the exact module title was Theory and Techniques of Cinematographic Language, but Snooty Cinema I think would be far more accurate) with each pupil, starting at 10:00 where I was 4th in the queue. Meaning I would be done around 11:00, right? Hahahahaha, no. Thanks to the professor scheduling a staff meeting, an office hour and a 90 minute lunch break, I finally was seen at 14:30… Warwick, I’m so ready for your efficiency!
Nevertheless, passed and over, I will probably never have to discuss the likes of Carl Dreyer and Jean Luc Godard in Italian ever again, and that is something to drink to. Which leads onto my leaving dinner! A beautiful night of pasta, wine, cheese and gelato, closing one of the most beautiful periods in my life! And many, many speeches and toasts to anything and everything. L’chaim!
Sadly, during my final fortnight in Siena, my phone died, leaving me to survive using two temporary phones loaned to me (thank god for good friends) and pray that I would actually make it home to Heathrow and still be able to call my mum if my luggage got lost. It also meant that photos for my final two weeks are pretty scarce, however, I’ve got enough memories to last me a lifetime. Especially when you’re leaving dinner ends in a contrada party with a band playing disco music, before eventually collapsing in the Campo at 3 in the morning, broken from a night of dancing and speeches.
And within two days of returning home, reality completely slapped me in the face when I found myself at Waterloo station, at 7:30 AM, ready to travel to Chiswick for my internship. Something I will be doing for the next two months until I return back up the M40 to Warwick. Swapping lengthly passeggiatas through the Tuscan streets to running for the district line, and last-minute pasta lunches for board room meetings- life is all about balance isn’t it? I will talk more about my internship another time when I have spent more time there, but all I will say now is I am really enjoying my work, and even though it’s not quite the Erasmus dolce vita in Siena, it is not the worst way to spend a summer in London.
Especially when I am greeted by this good boi when I come home in the evening…
Yes, my parents have recently welcomed Wilbur, everyone’s favourite fox red labrador into our family, and he is perfect! Everyone is a little obsessed with him in our house, and he certainly brightens up my days, even when South Western rail has delayed me by over two hours. (Which happens a lot more than it should, meaning I am now a demon when it comes to applying for compensation and refunds. Know your rights- I have received so much money as a result of being delayed most days!)
Look at him!!!
However, even though it was difficult to leave Siena for the final time, not knowing when I will return, and saying goodbye to being an Erasmus student there, it is comforting to know that I have a lifetime of memories and friendships as a result of being there, as well as Colombia! And with endless trips and reunions planned for all over the world, I cannot wait for what surprise is next.
I think it is obvious that I loved my year abroad, given I haven’t shut up about it in these blogs for the last 13 months, however, I will reiterate: if you are given the opportunity to go abroad, do it, you never know where you will go, what you will do, and who you will be when you return. I am far more confident as a person than I was before this year, and far more spontaneous and positive, and these are things that I have already found helpful when starting again at my internship. Therefore I am so grateful to my departments for encouraging the year abroad, as I feel so much more prepared and ready for my final years at Warwick, and for life beyond university!
Even though it might be terrifying, sometimes you have to say yes to things, and life will surprise you!
(Right, overly positive and occasionally-a-little-cringe year abroad blogs are officially over; your regular Catherine Osborne complaining and whining blogs will officially recommence in August, set your countdowns boys and girls!!)
Until next time, ciao for now, Siena!