So... I've Moved to Italy!

It may have surprised you to see the title of this post, but as of yesterday I'm officially living in Palermo, Sicily and enrolled in school. 

To backtrack a bit, my 2 year Masters program in France requires that I spend one semester abroad during my stay, despite the fact that me being in France is already 'abroad' in my book. My original plan was to go to their partner university in Chiba, Japan and spend my fall semester there, however I encountered several roadblocks that made this near impossible.

For those who don't know, Japan is still dealing with COVID foreign entry complications, and have only recently announced that they will allow more tourists to enter the country. I had been waiting for confirmation of my enrollment since the end of May, and had heard very little from the university in Japan regarding when I'd be able to receive my acceptance letter and apply for the visa that would allow me to go to school there. 

When I did finally hear from them, they told me that the $200 a month dorm on campus I reserved months ago was now 'taken' and I'd have to live in a one room, $600 a month apartment near the train station. Not cool.

I waited until what seemed like the last possible moment, but there I was at the end of August with no acceptance letter, no visa, and no confirmation whatsoever of what was going to happen to me. I had all my documents ready, I even paid out of pocket for a medical examination of my lungs since the university asked for it.

According to the school calendar, I was supposed to start my semester September 11th, yet there I was still sitting in my Dijon apartment not even know what classes were being offered. Needless to say, I needed a backup school FAST.

Noor, a regular guest on this blog, was headed to Italy the next week and assured me the application process was easy, and so I sent a few emails, signed a few documents, and within a week I was set to move to Italy. I sadly told Japan goodbye and set my sights on a new destination, one that already had a friend or two there waiting for me.

And so now I'm here, enjoying the end of summer weather and change of scenery, exploring a brand new city in a language I'm not familiar with. It's very different from what Google Images told me it would be, but the program here is focused around 'Diversity and Migration', which is exactly what I'm interested in. 

One thing's for sure, I'm going to be encountering some amazing food here in Sicily!

Though I'm disappointed about Japan, I'm blessed to be in a new place with people to care for me and show me around, and it's a once in a lifetime chance to live in Italy! I'll be here until the end of January 2023, a proper 4 month stay to really dig into Italian life.

Lastly, my life in Italy is a solo adventure, but Guillaume is holding down the fort in Dijon, enjoying a fall season to himself in our apartment. When we said goodbye at the train station, we both expected to cry, but as I sat on the train and waved to him, all we could do was smile. We both knew this was a temporary stay and that, in a few months time, we'd be back here at the station again to meet and continue our lives together.

I'm a lucky girl.

Thanks for reading.