I am a day away from my flight to Colombia, and getting ready for my study abroad this past several weeks has been my biggest priority. After school finished, I took some time to rest and recover from all the exams and end-of-semester work. I bought some new clothes for traveling, including a pair of shorts, jeans, and several lightweight tops. I also am packing lots of sunscreen and bug spray, because mosquito borne diseases are a larger risk factor in Colombia than the US. I packed some medicines that my travel doctor recommended too: Imodium, motion sickness patches, Z-pak, and Polysporin. I also got vaccinated for Yellow Fever and Typhoid for my trip. Another important part of my luggage including a gift for my host family, a textbook for one of my classes, and a couple of comfort items like a blanket and stuffed animal from home.

I read a travel guide about Colombia that my mom bought for me, where I learned information about some historical, cultural, and demographic aspects of Colombia and the city where I will be staying just to become a bit more familiar with it. I’ve never been out of the country or on a plane, so this will be a very new experience for me. I am absolutely nervous about the flight, but I have gone over the TSA information and all I can do is hope that it will go smoothly. Once I’m in Barranquilla, I will meet with my professor and head to my host family’s house.

One of my favorite things about this study abroad opportunity, is that the trip is faculty lead. I will have a UA professor as one of my teachers, and the excursions and activities are already planned out. I’ll be speaking only Spanish once I’m in the country, so I’ll probably experience a fair jump in fluency while I’m there.

My mom and me at the hotel the night before my flight.