Hello! My name is Jessica Castillo and I am apart of the Language and Culture program in CIEE Rome. Having the privilege to participate in this program has been one of the most life changing experiences. A year ago from today, studying abroad was nowhere in my plans but I am incredibly happy to say that there are no regrets! Immersing myself into a complete distinct culture miles away from where I call home definitely took me out of my comfort zone but with the support of my program leaders and the new friendships, it became possible. I am forever grateful for the friendships I have made in the duration of these four weeks. Traveling to another country without the natural reliance of your parents or your loved ones can be hard, but it has provided me with a sense of independence. Learning a new language in a complete different setting can be intimidating for some, but the interactive language classes have eased the stress. Alongside being able to go out and explore Rome and speak to locals in Italian, it is those moments that truly sticks to me and enables me to speak and understand better Italian. Being able to build a trust with our program leaders has allowed me to become more comfortable amongst the leaders and other authority figures. No words can fathom how grateful I am for the friendships I have made, being able to come together and share the same experiences is something that will always stay with me in the future. Walking through history through the streets of Rome have made me realize how much more there is to this world besides home, and even in those places you can find home. I found home in this program.