So it’s getting down to the wire and I have about 5 hours until I leave for the airport. If you would have asked me three years ago when I began college, or even about 6 months ago in the middle of my junior year if I saw myself studying abroad I would have said OF COURSE! Then I would have probably gone on about all the places in the world that I want to visit and all of the things I want to do there. Afterwards I would have chuckled and dismissed the idea as a dream and then talked about how finances would have made studying abroad impossible for me.

Tomorrow afternoon I will be on a flight to Beijing, China and the thought of it is so surreal. This will be my first time leaving the United States and I couldn’t be more excited to jump into this new adventure. Of course I’m nervous and anxious as well, but I’m sure that’s all perfectly normal for someone about to go on a 13 hr flight to the other side of the world for the first time. I know this trip will be full of fun and adventure and I have to admit I’m probably a little too excited about the food.

As a lover of language, nothing makes me happier than hearing a new language and of course language and culture go hand in hand. In China I am hoping to improve my knowledge of the Chinese language and learn as much about Chinese culture as I can. My career goal is to become a bilingual speech-language pathologist and I think that seizing this opportunity to spend a month studying in China will benefit me immensely in these goals.

After what feels like forever, I’m all packed up and ready to go but before I sign off, I want to thank everyone who’s helped make this trip a reality for me. That includes my parents, other family members who have encouraged me and contributed to the trip, my loving boyfriend who has continued to stand by me and help me reach my goals (and also calmed me down each and every time I freaked out about the costs), my friends who are insanely supportive of me and of course my wonderful professors, instructors, advisors, and administrators of the university.

China, here I come!