The Side of Study Abroad That Isn’t on Social Media

As I approach my last week living in Milan, there are events that were not plastered on social media that I think are important to share.

Studying abroad is very difficult. You are unable to have a job because of the different kinds of visas. I was lucky to find a job tutoring two wonderful children. However, that job was still only €45 per week. That cash was my money for groceries each week.

All of the money I had saved up for my trip went toward me coming to Italy. I got a small amount each month from me selling my car before I came, and I received money from family for my birthday. That money went towards the trips to England, France, Switzerland, Vatican City, etc. Behind the scenes of the photos on Facebook and Instagram, there were days I didn’t eat. There were days I ate only a couple of rice cakes. I chose to visit amazing places and explore Europe over meals at times. With the low energy, there were days I struggled to get out of bed. There were weekends that I didn’t get out of bed because I didn’t have enough money to go out.

Studying abroad is such an incredible experience. I wouldn’t trade this time for anything. However, it’s important for anyone who is considering studying abroad to really prioritize. One of my roommates has travelled to twelve countries. She has gone somewhere every single weekend. She is exhausted and is now sick because she hasn’t gotten the rest she needs.

While I definitely recommend traveling and exploring the world, please remember to take care of yourself too. Be smart with money. Get plenty of rest.

I want to add on to this by addressing my family and friends back home:
If I don’t bring you home something, it isn’t because I didn’t think about you. Let me take you out for dinner when I get home and I am able to save up some money again. When I come home, my bank account will be filled with dust bunnies. Please don’t be upset with me. Milan is a very expensive city to live in.

I love you and I am very excited to come home and see my friends and family.


Hannah McNutt


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