Hi there! I am Nicole a rising junior here at UA. I have been interested in participating in a study abroad since I started at UA and have always wanted to explore outside of the country and thought it would be best to participate now as a student while I can. Although being a student and having to produce the budget and seeing what assistance was available to me needed to be worked out, to see if studying abroad was for me.

Because I found myself needing to investigate things such as student aid and school grants, I felt a little underprepared I let time get away from me and started very late and even submitted my passport application one month before the program began! Not a clever idea, a decent amount of preparation will save you from a lot of stress and some money in expedited shipping….

I am writing this post from my hotel room in Spain as everything worked out thankfully but once again highly recommend some preparation. Being here for almost a full day now has been interesting, I have gone from nervous to excited, enthralled, thrilled, and scared (especially during my first flight at take-off), and it is just the first day!

I most definitely came with the want to not be a “tourist” and “blend in” with the locals but that’s putting a lot of pressure on a person, don’t be like me. Concluding that I am not going to know what to do all the time is fine, and in fact expected opens the opportunity to just have fun. I am very excited to start our classes and begin the “study” part of my abroad journey, I am hoping to come back to UA a artist more comfortable in my artistic abilities and make friends, meet new people, and soak up all the culture I can.

Day one, though not completely over yet, has already been filled with lots of walking, laughter, and tapas.

Signing off for now, Nicole.