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Celebrating my Birthday in Italy

An opinion piece by Amelia Daly

Embarking on an International Adventure: My Leap from Connecticut to Perugia
Hello, I’m Amelia Daly, a 19-year-old student from the University of Connecticut, currently studying abroad in Perugia, Italy. I grew up in Connecticut with four siblings, two older and two younger. The decision to study abroad was impulsive; I wanted to experience life beyond the familiar comforts of home. Prior to this, my only international travel was a spring break trip with friends, so this was a significant leap for me.

The Bittersweet Decision: A Birthday Abroad
I chose the fall semester for the excitement of experiencing the changing seasons, unlike a spring semester which would predominantly feature winter. However, upon application, I realized that for the first time, I wouldn’t be home for my birthday in September. This realization brought mixed feelings; the excitement of celebrating in a foreign country was tempered by the nostalgia of missing family celebrations, a significant part of my life.


Navigating New Beginnings: Embracing Friendships in Italy
September 1st marked my arrival in Italy, with my birthday on the 24th. This early stage of the semester was filled with adjustments and the challenge of forming new friendships. Fortunately, within a week, I bonded with a group, including my roommates and some neighbors. Being abroad is one amazing time to have a birthday. Though distant from family and childhood friends, it’s a chance to appreciate the world from a different, even unique perspective. To experience the world, traveling and studying in another country, at such a young age as mine is something not to be taken for granted.

A Birthday Celebration in Perugia: The Joy of Friendship in Foreign Lands
For my birthday, we didn’t plan any trips. Instead, we celebrated in Perugia with homemade cake, a movie, and dinner out. This experience reinforced the idea that good friends are all you need for a memorable celebration. One of my initial fears about studying abroad was the prospect of loneliness and the challenge of making new friends in a foreign town. However, as it turns out, these fears have been unfounded. The friendships I’ve made here, though only a few months old, are meaningful, and I will take them with me forever. It was the best possible birthday I could have wished for.

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