"I don’t feel like I’m done with this place just yet – I’ll be back at some point" - Vivian volunteering in Italy Blog

30.05.2024 Mateusz Przybylski

Ciao raga! It’s Viv again. If you follow this blog regularly, you might have already read an entry by me a couple of months ago. Now that a bit more time has passed and I’ve been here in the north of Italy for nine months (it feels unbelievable to even say this), I feel like I should give a little update about my experience here in Bolzano.

All of the aspects I’ve mentioned in my past entry, like the fulfillment social work has given me, the relationships I’ve formed with many people from all over the continent, and my steadily rising Italian language and cultural skills, still stand and have only deepened since I wrote about them at the beginning of the year. After all, immersing yourself fully in extraordinary and foreign circumstances like the ones I’ve chosen to dive into makes the learning process extend way beyond surface level, and I have seen in myself and others that information, stories, and skills get soaked up as if we were sponges. It is not the first time I have tried learning about cultures differing from my own, but never have I felt this confident in actually becoming part of it in my daily life. Speaking Italian and living an Italian lifestyle, basically, aside from being very helpful on my learning journey, are a lot of fun to me, and with every passing day I understand more and more about my surroundings and the people in them.

Another aspect I cannot ignore is that, with weather conditions now changing for the better as summer is approaching, the time for me to explore more of Italy than just South Tyrol has finally come, and I am beyond excited to have the opportunity to see a bit more of this incredibly diverse country. With my Italian now being somewhat good enough to have basic conversations, I am hoping to meet a few more locals and make some genuine connections that last beyond my remaining time here. Because as much as I’m shocked by how fast time has passed, and as sad and excited at the same time I am to be returning home in three months, the time I’ve spent here in Italy has formed me into a more confident and happy person and has made me hungry to discover more. I don’t feel like I’m done with this place just yet – I’ll be back at some point, and until then I’ll enjoy every second I have left here.