What made you decide to participate in the HUF program?
Honestly, I was planning to go to HULA, but after one of my friends went to HUF the summer before me and told me about the experience that she had, I decided that I wanted to go there.
What was it like attending HUF?
It was such a fun experience! We were immersed in the culture right from the time we got off the plane. Robbie, the director of the program, does such a good job of making sure that you are comfortable in the new setting. I didn’t really experience a culture shock at all. It was more a shock at how many new things I learned throughout the whole summer.
What was it like living in Italy?
It was different, but a good different. I honestly could see myself living there. The food is something that I miss the most.
What did you learn?
I learned a lot about the culture of Italy and a lot about myself. I learned to really appreciate the creation that God has made because, in the grand scheme of things, there is so much out there that can be explored.
How did you grow?
I learned a lot about myself through personal experiences and having to manage money and plan trips. I learned that I’m not a good planner, and I’m thankful for Celeste Parker because she planned our independent travels. Without her, our trips would not have been as smooth as they were.
How were you challenged?
Three months in a different country is a lot for a person to have to transition into. That was the hardest thing because I was homesick at times, but I had to power through because it’s such an amazing experience.
What was your favorite aspect of HUF?
I loved living together with people in the villa. I knew everyone that I went with, but living together allowed me to connect more deeply with people. I formed friendships that I know will last a lifetime because of the experiences that we shared.
What is one standout memory from HUF?
My group of friends traveled to Greece and honestly that was one of the best experiences of my life. I learned so much and had so much fun.
What do you wish people knew about HUF?
It’s tiring. You walk a lot, and, if you don’t like learning about art and the culture behind a lot of renaissance paintings and history, then it’s probably not the trip for you. You go to a lot of historical places that honestly I wouldn’t have seen myself going to any other time in my life.
What would you say to others thinking about attending the HUF program?
Go to HUF! I cannot stress it enough, it was one of the best experiences that I have ever had in my life. I don’t think anything will ever compare to the three months that I spent in Italy.
How do you see the world differently after studying abroad?
God has created so much that needs to be seen. From the hills in Tuscany to the people that we encountered, I gained a deeper appreciation for God’s creation.
Danielle Wooten attended the summer 2019 Harding in Florence (HUF) program.