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.
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.
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.
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.