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La dolce vita: 3 months later

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In my second blog post I will look back at all the amazing things that happened to me so far, tell you about some of my plans for my time left in Italy and share some of my thoughts and reflections.
Two girls standing in front of a river
Me and Olga in Venice

We’ve been in the new year for almost a month now, and I still can’t believe how fast time flies. I can still recall planning a Halloween party, Friendmas and multiple trips (some of them never left the group chat, but some of them very much did) - and yet we’re already in the year 2024, exams are approaching and I need to admit to myself that I’m already past the middle of my exchange. Because of that, this blogpost marks kind of a bitter-sweet moment in my Erasmus+ adventure. On the one hand, I’m still in Siena with my amazing friends, planning what to do in the next month. On the other hand, this will be our last month and the change of atmosphere is palpable. 

But, let me tell you how my life in Siena was up to this point! And it has been (in the most positive way) crazy and a tiny bit overwhelming. As there is a lot to talk about, I’ll try to divide this post into parts, talking about different aspects of the previous 3 months!


If there is something difficult while being on Erasmus, it’s definitely getting used to the good old studying routine, especially because the urge to travel somewhere every weekend is huge! However, once I got into the right rhythm I was pleasantly surprised with my subject choices - though none of them cover my general major which is Psychology. I’m following courses from two different programmes, Political sciences and Philosophy and linguistics, and if you’re wondering if it’s difficult - oh yes, it is! (Pro tip for the future Erasmus student: if a subject has the word “advanced” in its name it probably really is advanced). However, I’m up for a challenge when it comes to studying and I really feel that I’m broadening my horizons so much thanks to the variety offered by my lecturers. There was one thing about the classes that surprised me though- the schedule. In Poland I would have a class once a week for the whole semester, while in Italy they are normally organised three times a week, and so they can end even after 2 months. This also means that my week is much more intense than normally! 


Siena is not at all a big city and yet I will not be dishonest when I say I still, to this day, meet new people and make new friendships here. But at this point I’m so glad to say that my longest and closest group consists of some of the most outstanding, amazing and caring people I’ve ever met and I’m honoured to call them my friends. We shared many important moments together and I think they will agree with me that right now we are basically a big, international family. And they are here to stay! Instead of introducing them, I’d like to show you some of our memories that we’ve made so far (and I know there’s only more to come). 


When you’re living in Italy, travelling feels like a must. And if you’re living in Tuscany, one of the prettiest places in Europe that I visited, it actually is a must. Which means that almost every weekend (and sometimes during the week too) I was off to experience and visit. And of course you don’t need to go far to have an amazing time! One of my favourites very close to Siena are Poggibonsi, as it has an amazing, eerie fountain and Colle di Val d’Elsa, with its breathtaking waterfalls. Though going there with public transportation is always tricky - Italy has everything BUT a good intercity bus system - going to the cities nearby gives me a lot of satisfaction and is relaxing, because at the end of the day it’s just a 20 minutes ride (or an hour and 20 minutes if you’re unlucky with the bus, but that’s just how it is). 

But! I also went a bit further and with amazing company. At the end of November me and some of my amazing friends visited Cagliari in Sardinia and we got a bit of sun in the 20 degrees heat. Next week we went to Rome, to experience its Christmas atmosphere (and were not disappointed). And right before going back home for Christmas, I went to Venice with my Polish friend. 

PS. For those of you who are thinking about going to Italy, but are worried about the costs of transportation I say: worry not! Though trains are rather expensive, some bus companies offer very VERY cheap tickets and you can really make a bargain with them! 

Going back home for Christmas 

An interesting part of my exchange was also going back to Poland for Christmas. I was in my city for less than 2 weeks and I think I really needed that stay to fully appreciate my stay in Siena, but also to appreciate what is waiting at home for me. After not seeing most of my family members and friends for almost 4 months, I was back in the place where I feel well known and loved, where I have the biggest support and feeling of security. It made me realise how lucky I am but also gave me a sense of joy, as I felt that even after my exchange I’ll have something amazing waiting for me. For the first time in forever I had to schedule every meeting, as sometimes I had a few in one day! Also I managed to get some time with my partner, who has been supportive of my adventure but whom I missed badly! 

And then, when I arrived back in Siena, I had a very similar sense of security, as if I was going back to my second home. The moments I went to my local store to stock up on some basic produce, when I said ‘Ciao’ to my landlady and I went for my 40 minutes walk to the centre made me realise that I have now another place on Earth where I started growing my roots. To me, that’s one of the most beautiful and moving feelings that I had during my Erasmus. 

A living room decorated for Christmas, with a Christmas Tree in the corner
I appreciated being able to spend the Holidays at home very much!

Anxiety and stress

I think it’s crucial to share not only the positive, but also the negative feelings that can be part of our lives abroad. Living on your own, with your closest ones available only on the phone can cause stress sometimes, and especially when you’re having a bad day. There were times when I felt so sad that I would give anything to teleport to my partner’s or my best friends’ houses just for a couple of minutes - and even though I have an amazing friend group in Siena! There was also the fear of missing out. The idea of not going to a social gathering terrified me for a couple of months. I couldn’t stop thinking “What if I will never be able to connect with this group again?” or “Will they think that I’m boring because I skipped a party?”. Fortunately, as time went by I learned to cope with these doubts, with a big support of my international family. 
At times, I also worry about my diabetes, about my academic performance, about my future… and I really think that’s okay! After all, being on Erasmus doesn’t mean that I have to be on cloud 9 all the time! 

So... what's next?

As the exams are approaching I’m entering a new phase in my Erasmus, but I feel hopeful and motivated. More amazing adventures await, there is a trip to Napoli in the making and a couple of secrets that I will tell you about later! Talk to you soon!