One of the biggest concerns I had in studying abroad was the food. I have always been a picky eater, and I was worried that I was going to be miserable and hungry all the time because the food would be so different than in the United States. While it is definitely not the same, and I do miss some American foods very much, I was pleasantly surprised at the array of options in every city we went to. A misconception I had when coming to Europe is that each country would mostly only serve food local to that country, where I found that you could find Italian, Mediterranean, Asian, American, Mexican style and more restaurants in almost any city. Although my friends and I pushed ourselves to eat the local foods in each place, it was still so nice to have the comfort of being able to find familiar foods. I ended up eating some of the best food in my life on this trip. My only big complaint about the food is that I have not been able to find queso anywhere here, and I am so excited to get chips and queso when I get back to America.
Another concern for me was the possibility of homesickness. While everyone’s experience is different, I did not struggle as much as I thought with homesickness. I think it really helps that you get close to the people in your program so fast when experiencing the challenges of being abroad together. It was also very comforting to have other Alabama students there and a familiar professor. While traveling in this context can be uncomfortable at times, I think you get used to the discomfort fairly fast and learn to live a little bit differently than you typically do at home.