Student space

The Adventure Doesn't End Here

By this time next week, the students—and myself—will have departed Siena, or will be about to depart. They’re thinking about how unbelievable it is that four months just flew by; meanwhile I can’t comprehend how fast nine months went.

But I’d rather not dwell on endings. I’ve recently decided that there aren’t endings in life, really, there are only stages, one flowing into the next like chapters in a book. When it’s time to move on to the next stage, you keep everything you learned from the last, and maybe hold onto some of the people you met too.

I had no idea what to expect when I returned to Siena a little over a year after my own study abroad at the Siena School for Liberal Arts. And, honestly, it would be impossible to talk about everything in 300 words. So I will instead list the three greatest things I got out of this year:

1) “Serendipitous friends.” These are the friends who might only be in your life for an evening, a week, a semester, or maybe the whole year, but who are no less important and impactful on your life because of that. I don’t know when again I’ll see a good 90% of the people I’ve met and hung out with this year, but they will forever hold a special place in my memory.

2) Self-assurance. Moving abroad and traveling around all alone has been one of the most challenging things I’ve done, but the confidence and self-assurance I’ve gained have been so rewarding.

3) Entering into a new culture. Learning to speak a new language and navigating a foreign world is not easy and, in the case of Italy, not always a magical fairytale, but it will make you grow so much as a person. If you have the opportunity to do something like this, take it. It will enrich your life and take your worldview to new levels.

It has been my utmost pleasure and privilege to get to intern with the Siena School this year, and to run this blog in particular. I’ve loved reading what the students have to say about their own experiences, and I can’t wait to see where we all go next.

It’s not the end of the adventure; it’s merely the start of another.

Alex Wendt

Siena School for Liberal Arts intern