I chose to study abroad for a few reasons. My family and I have traveled around the US my whole life, so I thought it was only necessary to take this opportunity and travel Europe. I have family and friends who have studied abroad, and I’ve never had a conversation with someone that regretted it. All I hear are amazing things about the places they’ve gone, the people they met, and the adventures they’ve taken. I am also blessed to have a scholarship to attend The University of Alabama, and being able to transfer it over to my study abroad program played a huge role in setting it up financially.   

I have known since freshman year that this upcoming spring would be the semester I would study abroad, so I had the advantage of time while I prepared to leave. I started preparing last summer by working extra hours at 2 jobs to make enough money: I knew I’d be spending a lot with my traveling, and I wanted to be in a position where money would not hold me back from any opportunities while in Europe. I also started practicing Spanish more, both with friends and through apps. Studying Spanish is not my primary motivation to study in Spain, however I believe it’s important to at least be competent in a foreign language if one plans to visit that country. I also knew I’d be leaving my friends for a while, so I made sure to put in a concentrated effort to spend more time with them this fall, while also getting their addresses so I can send postcards and stay in contact with them!
A lot of people have asked if I’m nervous about studying abroad. Surprisingly I’m not. I couldn’t be more excited. What’s funny is that I’m not exactly sure what I’m excited for, if that makes any sense. I really have no clue what I’m getting myself into. Living in a different country for about 5 months means almost every aspect of life is gonna be quite different. I’m excited to learn how they live their lives, how they go about their day to day activities.
I also am going to miss my friends and family a whole ton. They’ve played a huge role in making me who I am today, so not seeing them for 5 months will be rough. However, I can’t wait to make new friends and meet new people abroad.
I’m hoping to gain some insight on how people live and interact with each other differently than here in the US. My goal is to travel and explore as much as possible. There are so many things to see in Europe and elsewhere, so I just plan to do my best and saturate myself in the culture and lifestyle of different places in Europe. The University of Alabama has blessed me with an opportunity to add a pretty incredible chapter to my life, and I plan to take full advantage of it.