Hi, my name is Anna DuVall and I am studying abroad to Belize; June 6-23rd.
My decision to study abroad to Belize started in 2020, however, the trip got cancelled due to covid. I was very lucky to be chosen to go this year. A big factor into my decision to go abroad was the money, I didn’t know if my family would have enough to pay for an over two-week trip abroad. UA has amazing resources and ways to help you find a way to get to go on your dream abroad trip; scholarships, payment plans, transfer scholarships, and so many more.
How I have been preparing to go abroad was buying things that I needed for the trip, such as snorkeling sets, hiking pants, and go pros, in sections so it isn’t so much of an expense. A big part of the experience of this study abroad program is snorkeling in the reefs, so to prepare for the physical tole that takes on your body, I have been working out daily to get my body prepared to swim for hours at a time. Trying to pack as light as possible is the hardest part for me because I am an overpacker so, I tried to limit myself to only a couple swimsuits and swim shirts so I don’t get burned. Something intangible I will be carrying with me abroad will be a lot of excited to be going out of the country for the first time and meeting new people with similar interests as me. Something that has really helped me as i’m preparing to leave is the packing list we are given, really trying to stick to that and pack light is super important.
Studying abroad is something i’ve always dreamt of doing in college, I am super excited to be able to have the opportunity to go. However, I am also nervous because I will be away from everything that is familiar to me and my friends and family. Something that is really helping me get through all the mixed emotions is knowing that while i’m there I will be keeping a journal of everything I do and feel so I can share my experience to everyone I know when I get back.
Something I hope to gain from the experience of study abroad is definitely meeting new people but also to learn more about the culture there and how beautiful their country is. I hope I get to learn some of creole from the locals and see how they live their lives everyday. I hope that I need to see a nurse shark up close while I am snorkeling.