At this point it is likely you are comfortable in Santa Barbara not only in your living situation but with friends and roommates you have made. So it makes sense that one concern you might have with going to a new country is leaving behind all your friends and going somewhere you might not know the language. I would like to remind you that we were recently in the same position when deciding to study in Santa Barbara. Where now looking back if we had not made this decision we would have missed out on great experiences and the chance of meeting amazing people. It is the same way with studying abroad which is an opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and meet new people. Some of the amazing people I met include:
My homestay parents
First and foremost Licia and Luigi are literal couple goals and absolute saints. Licia and Luigi are a retired couple who have three older children of their own and grandkids around our age. Luigi is a retired Italian soldier and Licia has always been a stay at home wife. Yet these descriptions do them no justice in my eyes since Luigi was an absolute genius while Licia was Gordon Ramsey in the kitchen and an amazing designer. I always had so much fun spending time with them and also learned so much from them either by practicing my Italian or learning more about the culture. They both also broke stereotypical norms with how accepting and progressive they are. Before leaving I was worried about how to deal with my sexuality being bisesexual which I had no issues with since they were very accepting. I can truly say they went above and beyond while I stay at their home to the point I felt part of the family. I miss them everyday and can’t wait to return to Rome to visit them. I would highly recommend homestay since it really gives you that opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture.
My homestay partner in crime, someone I did everything with and made wonderful memories while in Rome. Jasmine is a fourth year from UC San Diego double majoring in linguistics and psychology. Neither of us knew of eachother or that we were going to be placed in the same homestay. Yet now looking back I can’t even imagine having gone through this journey without here. Especially since coming to UCSB I stopped making time for my faith but with Jasmine I was able to go back to church and how cool of it being in Rome. Somewhere we both got to meet awesome people and really feel more like a local rather than a tourist. Now we both know if we are ever in Rome we can visit our church and friends we made there. I constantly cherish the memories I made with Jasmine and I am so glad we were able to get so close in such a short period of time.
Karina & Jacob
Another two amazing people I met and very much glad I did since we shared some amazing mornings and nights. Karina was an art history major from UCSB while Jacob was an art major from UCSC. We had the pleasure of meeting by being placed in the same advanced Italian class and were able to get close since there were only three of us. We would spend every morning with each other and began to hang out on the weekends having a typical night by grabbing a drink, lighting a cigarette and enjoying walks through Roman streets. I even had the pleasure to visit Florence with Karina. Overall I was not expecting to make the friends I did in Italy but I would not change the memories we shared for anything.