During the Covid-19 pandemic, coming to school was a challenging experience that limited many of the opportunities we had once taken for granted. However, when the chance to study abroad finally opened up, I knew I had to seize it. As a first-generation student, I am determined to make the most of every opportunity that comes my way. Although I feel a mix of anxiety and excitement about my upcoming trip to South Africa, which will be my first time out of the country, I am eager to see what this adventure has in store for me. In this blog post, I will share my journey of preparing for this trip and the lessons I’ve learned along the way.

After enduring the limitations of the pandemic, the opportunity to study abroad felt like a breath of fresh air. It was a chance to expand my horizons, experience a new culture, and broaden my perspective. As a first-generation student, I am determined to make the most of my educational journey, and studying abroad is a valuable part of that experience. While the idea of traveling to South Africa fills me with excitement, I must admit that there is also a certain level of anxiety. It’s only natural to feel nervous about embarking on a journey to a foreign country, especially when it’s your first time leaving your own. However, I believe that pushing beyond our comfort zones is where true growth happens. By embracing this opportunity, I hope to gain valuable experiences and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Preparing for the trip was surprisingly smooth, despite the challenges of transitioning from the cold Alabama winter to a different climate. Packing appropriate clothing for South Africa’s weather was essential. Researching the destination and learning about its culture, traditions, and customs helped me feel more prepared and respectful of the local community.

Among the concerns I had, remembering the differences in electrical outlets was a minor worry. Different continents often have varying plug types, and I didn’t want to be caught without a way to charge my devices. However, this turned out to be a relatively simple issue to address. Purchasing an international adapter beforehand ensured that I would be able to plug in my electronics and stay connected while abroad.