As I deplaned alone in London and began making my way towards the train station I thought in fear for a split second "what the heck am I doing". I am 19 years old, in London, with 4 girls I have never met in my life. I rerouted my thinking and repeated that same statement with a smile in amazement. I am 19 years old, in the beautiful city of London, with 4 girls who could become my very best friends and adventure buddies. I was beginning the summer I had always pictured studying abroad in college is like, and I could not be more excited.
Two words I found to be imperative for studying abroad: OPEN MIND. By prioritizing these two words, I was able to travel beyond the UA in Spain program description to experience a full European summer.
Our adventure began with 2 days in London seeing Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, London Eye, Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square, Tate Modern Museum, The Shard, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Shakespeare's Globe, and a West End Show. Next, we took a fast train to Paris and spent 3 days there. In Paris, we hit all the main sights; Sacré-Cœur, Musée d'Orsay, The Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, Sainte-Chapelle, Notre Dame, and the Palace of Versailles. After 5 busy days, we flew from Paris to Madrid to begin our Program. After our program, we celebrated the end of the semester by flying to the Island of Mallorca. With beautiful beaches and fun restaurants, we enjoyed a relaxing weekend before returning back to the states or to Madrid for the second session to begin.
Utilizing the opportunity to travel before and after my program was definitely worth it. I made amazing friends, incredible memories, and checked some destinations off of my bucket list 🙂