“It’s not what you do, it’s the mental state you do it in,” she told BuzzFeed News. “My general disillusionment with the culture and the people conditioned me to have a negative experience.”
Datskovska was homesick, “oceans away” from her routine and professional network, anxious about the progress she’d have to catch up on. She lived in a chaotic housing situation with seven people, forcing her to spend most of her time in a tiny room she compared to “solitary confinement.”
When her friends traveled, they did so lavishly with huge Airbnbs and expensive parties. She stayed back to be more frugal and ventured out a few times on her own to visit locations that interested her, like Rome and Dubai.
Datskovska found Florentine residents to be rude to visitors, though 5,000 students studying abroad stay in the neighborhood every semester. She said that she could speak Italian, but she still caught judgmental glances from locals.