I have always wanted to travel ever since I was little, so I knew that in college I would definitely study abroad somewhere. As I started my freshman year I started looking into programs and as a Spanish minor, a program in Spain was the perfect option for me. Spain was always somewhere I had wanted to go and I knew the perfect time to study abroad would be during the summer before sophomore year, when people start looking for internships for the following summer.
Preparing to go abroad was difficult because I have never really traveled by plane before, let alone been out of the country. I had to get my passport, buy an actual suitcase, and be very selective in what I wanted to bring with me since I’m used to traveling by car where there is no weight limit on what I can bring. I tried to pack clothes that could be used multiple different ways, but also a variety of clothes for various types of weather. I was a little bit nervous to go through all the procedures at the airport by myself having never flown before, so I had to mentally prepare for that. Also, I had to prepare for the fact that with a busy schedule, I wouldn’t be able to go to the gym every morning and work out every day like I do at home or school. Finally, I wouldn’t be able to talk to my family as much as I would when at Alabama because of the time change. Even though I was a bit nervous pre-departure, my excitement for a new adventure overpowered all the nerves. The nerves and a little anxiety that I had were mostly from the fact that I had no idea what to expect. I had a friend who had been on this trip before and she was a major help in preparation for the trip. She gave me advice on what to wear, bring, and what to expect. Having someone there for me like that definitely eased my nerves and allowed me to be more excited, knowing a little bit more about what to expect. Plus, I knew that despite nerves, once in Spain, I would have the time of my life.
From my study abroad experience, I hope to be able to see a different perspective of the world around me, never having known anything but the U.S. I hope that I will be able to speak Spanish more fluently than before because I truly do love the language and would love to be able to speak it fluently. I think that being bilingual is such a valuable skill and allows us to be more connected to others around the world. As Americans, we don’t always work to learn a second language like many people do in other countries, which is a sad fact. While I’m abroad, I want to experience everything Spain has to offer. I want to see all the sights, try many different foods, and just be open to whatever new experience comes my way. At home, I am a very routine oriented person and during this trip, I want to allow myself to break from routines and be open to new things. Overall, I am so thankful for this amazing opportunity to experience another country and I cannot wait to see what this trip will bring.
P.S. This post is late because the Wifi during the first month was horrible