Diversity Abroad – Blog

Positive thinking: Reducing stress before going abroad!

Hello everyone!

My name is Paola, I live in Miami, Florida and I am currently attending Miami-Dade College. The desire within me to care for those in need is what gives me strength to pursue my journey of one day becoming nurse. I have been granted the opportunity to study abroad in Italy, an extraordinary country known for its excellent healthcare system, where I will be studying Anatomy and Physiology at Lorenzo de’ Medici, a prestigious institute located in Florence.

With everything that has been going on in the past two months, I haven’t had the chance to sit down and realize that this is truly happening. I will be the first person in my family to be able to travel abroad to Europe. From finishing my semester to having to find a new job, the idea of me going to Italy has not sunk in yet.

 Just a few weeks ago, I finished my last semester in college and I was able to graduate with an Associates Degree in Pre-Nursing. Being so worried about my finals and end-of-the-semester projects disallowed me to think much of my trip to Italy.

Graduation with my father and boyfriend.

I was able to share my graduation with some of the people I love the most. (To my left: Father) (Right:Boyfriend)

I decided to decorate my graduation cap with a dedication to my parents. All my achievements would not have been possible without them.

I decided to decorate my graduation cap with a dedication to my parents. All my achievements would not have been possible without them.

With all the stress of having to meet deadlines to pay for my plane ticket and having to save some money for my trip, I had to find a new temporary job for the next month before I take off to Italy.

Even though the past few months have been very demanding, I was able to meet with the classmates that will be traveling with me to Italy. In our meeting, we touched on some points to make our visit to Italy much more pleasurable. We spoke about the housing, safety, currency change, jet lag and most importantly food!

As I get ready to embark on my journey, there are other things that I have had to worry about and that I have yet to learn to make my leaving process easier. I have traveled in the past and I am known to be a light-weight traveler. My packing list usually includes the necessary items such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, hairbrush, soap, shampoo and conditioner, and my face cream. When it comes to clothing, I try to narrow it down to my favorite outfits in the closet. Depending on the length of my trip, I usually try to make an estimate of the clothing I will wear per day abroad.

My light packing skills usually work except that this time, I have no idea what to take!

I was able to learn about some of the best affordable places to buy food and ways to be safe while abroad but questions such as:

How is the weather?

Are sweaters a good option?

Can I wear flip flops? 

What is culturally accepted when it comes to clothing?

Were never answered…

Going abroad can be very challenging, especially when the country you are visiting has a different culture and custom from yours. With approximately two months left till my departure, I have already started packing and I must say, it is not easy


The good thing is that I have 47 days to figure out between what I should and should not take.

But for now my only option is to stay positive to reduce the stress…