It's been over a year since I spent my first college semester in Rome, Italy, but I continue to miss my unique experience every single day. It certainly helps that most of my closest friends at USC are those I met in Rome, but I wanted to take some time to personally reflect on the aspects my heart yearns for most when the thought of Italy crosses the brain.

1. Penne al Arrabiata 

Obviously, the food in Italy was incredible. Sure, America and most other countries have some pretty amazing Italian spots. But at the end of the day, no one does Italian food as great as Italy.

2. Cheap Traveling

I was always so intrigued that you could so easily fly from country to country, especially when in America I feel it's a hassle to even get from state to state.

3. Being Special Just Because I Had Blonde Hair

Because Italians are naturally darker, they loved anyone they saw that was clearly not Italian. And who sticks out more than the blonde? It was fun being the blonde American girl for several months. Definitely haven't received the same type of attention since my arrival in LA.

4. The Drinking Age

Spending my first semester abroad was honestly one of the most genius decisions I have ever had. In my opinion, Europe does a way better job with their drinking ages than America. It was nice to be treated like an adult everywhere I went and get into any bars or clubs legally.

5. The People

Everyone that studies abroad has a special bravery and boldness in them. Each person has their own unique story about how they ended up abroad, and I really miss listening to those stories. I, of course, miss the Europeans dearly as well. It was always so funny and interesting to learn about how different we were from them based on our different upbringings and varying nationally-based values. If you have yet to go abroad, I highly recommend it. You may miss it once it's over, but definitely for good reason.