No, this is not my first time studying abroad. Last summer I spent a month in Madrid, Spain so I know what it is like to immerse myself into another culture and step out of my comfort zone. However, this time is a little different seeing as I am going to Havana, Cuba. Yes, Cuba. The communist country is not a typical study abroad location, so it is difficult to understand what to expect. I’m not quite sure how easy communication with friends and family back home will be, I don’t know what food will be available, and I don’t think I can possibly pack everything. In a country where necessities are scarce, it is extra important that I am prepared.
I do not really know what I am doing, but what I have learned from previous experience is to just go with the flow. Not everything will go my way, but leaving home means leaving the familiar. It is fun and it is an adventure as long as you allow it to be. I expect to be surprised, confused, and scared. Trying to avoid accepting the new culture and way of life just makes it more difficult to find comfort. I know it will be frustrating living in a totally new world, but after a whole semester there, I hope I feel at home and don’t want to leave.
I’m scared of missing my friends, but instead I’m trying to focus on the warm weather, mysterious culture, rich history, and adventure in Cuba. It sure will be nice to have a break from internet and social media (but also difficult).