In just one day, I will be leaving the United States for the first time in my life. Some people may travel to other countries regularly, but as someone who has spent their entire life in rural Alabama, it feels surreal. At this time tomorrow, I will be headed to Athens, Greece to study International Financial Reporting (AC 497). After spending a week in Athens, our class will spend a week in Paris, France. I will get to experience sights and sounds that I would have probably never imagined in small-town Alabama.

I can feel my nervousness about the trip changing to excitement as it gets closer to my departure. I felt slightly stressed while I was packing and trying to prepare for my first class on Monday. Thankfully, our class is largely made up of group work, and my group members have been super helpful so far. I also was struggling at first to figure out exactly what clothes and how many clothes to pack. I want to be comfortable while I am sightseeing, but I do not want to draw unnecessary attention to myself as a tourists. After doing a little bit of research online on what most people wear in Athens and Paris, I got some good ideas. My biggest takeaways were that most people wear more neutral colors and that most people do not wear athletic gear just for walking. I opted for several pairs of khakis shorts/pants and some darker colored golf polos with a few button-down shirts as well. Getting my bag packed was a big relief. (I added a picture needs ideas for packing. You might want to get a smaller bag though. Mine is close to the size limit.)

Overall, I think studying abroad will be a blast. As an accounting major, I think learning about how financial reporting differs among other countries will be very interesting. Even though almost everyone in the class is an accounting major, I do not think I have had classes with many of them. It will be great to get to know some of them while seeing some awesome places abroad. I think the biggest thing that I am looking forward to is the food. I have heard it is so much fresher and healthier than a lot of the processed food in the U.S. I am a big foodie, so I can’t wait to try as many local restaurants as I can. I may have to make a ranking or something to keep track. Whether it’s new food, new places, or new friends, I can’t wait for my first time overseas.