As most study-abroad students know, prior to your departure you are filled with all kinds of emotions. You are likely to be both anxious and excited about embarking on this adventure. For example, eager to learn as much as possible before I headed to Florence, I asked friends who had studied abroad there for advice. They sent me a variety of guides that they, in turn, had received from their friends and even ones they had made on their own. These ‘helpful hints’ included their favorite panini shops, where to go out on the town and even addresses for the secret bakery. But none offered these three observations, which are essential to remember no matter where you might study abroad.