Letter From Abroad: Elizabeth Imphong ’21

Elizabeth Imphong ’21, Abroad Columnist

~Home will always be there, but this experience will not~

This is what I was told before leaving for abroad, and it stuck with me during my whole experience in Bologna, and now in Copenhagen. 

While it is hard to essentially pick up your life and move it to another country for four months, leaving behind close friends, family and the familiarity of Dickinson’s campus, you also have to remember that all of that will be there when you return. However, this amazing experience will not. So, run with it, and enjoy the ride. 

I think by having this mindset I allowed myself to embrace the place I was in. I organically allowed my story to happen, and by doing so I formed the most incredible memories. Bologna was magical for me. I fed my soul through pasta, friendships, small Italian towns, Italian culture, language and stories about European history. And, after leaving, and returning home for two weeks before my next adventure. I realized that Bologna became a part of me, I took it with me. I brought back what I had learned, and that is exactly what I believe study abroad is all about. Learning something and bringing back a new perspective, and an open mind and heart. 

I have carried this same energy to my time abroad here in Copenhagen by continuing to live in the moment and taking advantage of the place I am in. While it was nice to study abroad through a Dickinson program, I have enjoyed studying with DIS where everyone is new. DIS is an amazing program from the phenomenal class offerings to their active take on learning carried out through field studies and travel tours. Learning a whole new culture and language in addition to Italian has been challenging, yet fulfilling and unique –I feel very fortunate for the opportunity to study abroad for the full year. It has truly been a transformative year for me in many ways and I can’t wait to keep learning from this incredible experience.

Thank you for listening!

All the Best,