An Italian in Philly: The Last Days Here

Everything comes to an end and my exchange at Drexel is no exception. During these last days here I’ve been busy juggling between assignments, projects and finals, trying to submit everything in time. Nevertheless, I also had some time to think and reflect on how this quarter abroad went, the ups and downs of my life as an exchange student. So here’s my overview of this experience.

The city of Philadelphia

When I first arrived in Philadelphia I was surprised to see how sunny and hot it was. The weather has been incredibly nice until November, when it actually became really cold and windy.

I’ve also been pleasantly surprised by the amount of good food that there is. Coming from Italy I was really scared of not finding anything that could be at the same level of Italian food (I’m not saying there is, I’m just saying that it wasn’t as bad as I thought).

Philadelphia has so much to offer, not only in terms of food, but also events, museums and shops. It’s a very active city and if you look around, you’ll always find something to do.

Unfortunately, I can’t write this article without mentioning the danger that lurks in the city. Every time you go outside you have to be exceptionally aware of your surroundings. Some areas like Center City are safer than others, but in any case you have to pay attention everywhere you go.

Drexel University

I knew Drexel was a good university as soon as I saw that their mascot is a dragon. How could it not be? But apart from that, Drexel has always proven to be a well-organized institution that cares about its students (no, they didn’t pay me to say this).

Both the staff and the professors are always available when you need them and they try their best to make you feel welcome.

Drexel also offers so many events for its students, it’s hard to get bored. The Welcome Week, the concerts, the pizza parties, the discussions, the Thanksgiving dinner, these are only a few of the events I could name, plus they are usually always free!

I’ve also been very satisfied with the quality of education that was provided. The classes were always engaging and interesting. However, I can’t hide the fact that I’ve felt overwhelmed more than once by the amount of homework I had (I took five classes this quarter, but looking back I should have probably taken at maximum four).

To conclude, I can say that my overall experience here has been positive, with its downsides, of course. Studying abroad has always been my dream and I’m happy that I was able to make it come true. Now, I’m left with plenty of good memories that I can’t wait to share with friends and family at home.

(I also can’t wait to eat some good pasta and pizza again!)