ISA Discovery Model

How I Chose to Study Abroad for an Entire Year

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Kyndall Doughty is a student at the University of Oklahoma and an ISA Featured Blogger. She is currently studying abroad with ISA in Sevilla, Spain. 

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Studying abroad isn’t for everyone and that’s okay. Studying abroad for a year isn’t for everyone, and that’s okay too, but for me, I was all in and anything less than a year just wouldn’t do.

Rewind…

A year ago, I was sitting in my International Business advisor’s office deciding whether study abroad was for me and if so, where I would want to go. She listed off what seemed like hundreds of places and then stared at me with that blank look indicating that now would be a great time for me to have all the answers.

Saying I was overwhelmed would have been an understatement, but by the end of our hour-long meeting, she sold me. I was going. After discussing what class requirements could be taken abroad, she turned and said that I had enough transferable credits to go for a year if I wanted. Immediately, I was sold. In the matter of an hour I decided that I WAS going to study abroad and that I WAS going to go for a year.

On paper it sounds rash, like I committed at a whim, and to be honest, I did. I had exactly one month to finish my application if I wanted this dream to become a reality. One month down the road, I had everything filled out, filed, and sent.

Fast Forward…

Plaza de Espana

Plaza de Espana

I’m halfway done with my year abroad in Sevilla, Spain, and couldn’t imagine having done anything else. It took some getting used to; being exactly 5,290 miles from my family and friends is quite a change. I thought that being away from my home university would give me a constant sense of FOMO or that a year would overwhelm me and I would miss the U.S. too much, but I have experienced the exact opposite.

I talk to my friends and family regularly and get to share all my new experiences.

All the things that shocked me and drove me crazy about my new Spanish home I have grown to love. I love that everyone strolls everywhere (though when I’m in a hurry this still gets a little under my skin), the abundance of PDA, and that eating out is a 3 or more hour affair.

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It took one semester to acclimate to my new environment, and I plan on using the second to completely emerge myself. I’ve met remarkable people and made life-long friends.

Being abroad for a year has given me the perfect amount of time to travel and take in my city. I don’t feel the need to rush to conquer all of Europe in a semester. I can take my time, and trust me, it’s been time well spent.

The world awaits…discover it.

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