Hello! I am Dawson. I am from Montgomery, Alabama and I am studying abroad in The Hague, Netherlands (40 minutes south of Amsterdam by train). My program officially starts in February, but I came a few weeks early! My best friend from high school lives in Amsterdam and let me stay at his apartment for a week or two until mine opens. With that said a lot of the pre-departure trials and tribulations are behind me, but I am also no where near settled as I write this in my friends living room, about to go to sleep on his couch. Anyway, I decided I wanted to study abroad while I was still in Highschool after befriending my school’s study abroad students. I also really like traveling and experiencing new things! Since I grew up in Alabama and obviously stayed to go to school there, it was just obviously time for a change of scenery. I know that was kind of all over the place but that was some of my rationale for wanting to study abroad. With that said I did surprisingly little to prepare for my time abroad. After completing all the required forms, being approved and accepted, and finding a place to live, I was kind of over thinking about it. So about two days before I left, I packed everything I thought I needed (too much) and then I was ready to go.  Regarding how I felt about the build up to the experience, I was super nervous! Even though I knew it was what I wanted to do I was kind of dreading leaving. Like what if I forgot something? Or got homesick? The possibilities of something happening or going wrong kind of filled up my mind. However, I have been here for about a week now and all those bad feelings have dissipated! Finally, my goals for being here are largely self-growth and reflection, as well as being able to see if moving to Europe in the future would be the right fit for me. I will update you all soon how it is going! Thanks for reading 🙂