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Where to Go When Friends & Family Visit While Studying Abroad

June 26, 2024
by Lydia Stueber
A study abroad student and two other people smiling at the camera

Where to Go When Friends and Family Visit While Studying Abroad in Florence, Italy     

I knew that I wanted to study abroad my entire life! Until college, I had never left the United States. There’s so much to see, explore, find, and LEARN out in the world and I wanted (and still want) to see as much as I can, which is why I chose to study abroad in Florence this semester!  

A study abroad student with a friend standing on a street and smiling at the camera

My friend Ben from my university in the US visited me in Florence. 

 However, a big part of my identity is the love and support of my family and my closest friends! I’ve always been quiet, independent, and serious, and making friends hasn’t always been easiest for me. My friends are so dear to me and have been with me through so much! My parents have also been so encouraging of my dreams to travel and study abroad.

Two study abroad students standing at a cafe counter

  Visiting coffee shops and cafes in Amsterdam with friends! 

Two study abroad students walking down a road toward a large mountain

Walking with new friends in Interlaken, Switzerland, on a weekend trip. 

I met Bella, my best friend in the whole world, at a job lifeguarding at my university in Utah. I wouldn’t have gotten through work (and thus, saving up for study abroad) or life in general without her, and I miss her every day! She is a big part of my identity because she pushes me every day to work harder, study, learn, travel, and find joy!  

We were able to go to Greece together when she came to Florence as well, further allowing me to explore my passions of travel, art, and history with someone who means a lot to me. Bella and another friend (also pictured) Ben both came to visit me and getting the chance to travel, explore, and show them around a city that has become a part of me was amazing.  

Two study abroad students taking a selfie and giving thumbs up gestures to the camera

Bella, my best friend in the whole world, visiting me; on our way to Greece! 

My parents also saved for a long time to come to visit me in Florence and we went around the city, I took them to my favorite sandwich place, to museums, we climbed the Duomo, and so much more.  

A study abroad student and two other people smiling at the camera

My mom, me, and the wine tour leader in Tuscany when my parents came to visit.  

Two people sitting at a table and smiling at the camera

Taking my parents to Gustapizza on their visit to Florence. 

However, as I mentioned, making friends was always hard for me. Starting in a new country, school, or continent, was scary, but it has pushed me so much! I have made new friends at school, but also on trips such as in Ireland where I made a lifelong friend in Laura, who wasn’t even a person in my program but someone that I met outside of it.  

A study abroad student facing away from the camera looking toward large cliffs

Realizing a dream: seeing the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland (taken by a new friend, Laura!) 

A study abroad student smiling at the camera in front of a large set of gates

Visiting Buckingham Palace in London for Spring Break (also with Laura). 

Studying abroad transformed my identity from an individual who dreamed of traveling and learning to a student actively traveling and studying across the world with the ability to share that experience with her family and friends old and new.  

A study abroad student standing high above a lake smiling at the camera

In the mountains of Wicklow, Ireland, again with new friend Laura. 

A study abroad student standing in front of a canal and smiling at the camera

Taken by a new friend in Venice, on the first trip I went on outside of Florence and made new friends. 


Lydia Stueber is the Content Creator - Photographer in Florence, Italy, and is currently studying at University of Utah.
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