The days leading up to my departure honestly haven’t felt real. I go to work, then class, and then I go back home to my dog and repeat the whole process the next day. It really doesn’t seem like on Saturday I’m going to fly out to spend 5 weeks in France. Of course, I’m excited; I’m excited to improve my French, to finish out my minor, and to get to be a tourist for a little while, but the whole experience seems so unreal right now. I’m so incredibly grateful that studying abroad ended up being part of my educational experience. I’m graduating in three years, so I wasn’t sure I would have the time, and this summer I’m also starting the expensive process of applying to medical schools, so figuring out how to finance this endeavor was a big question. Thankfully, everything has worked out and I’m so excited to see how this experience will shape me.
This isn’t my first time abroad or even my first time to France, but it is the longest time I’ll have ever spent abroad, so the excitement about the trip is enveloped in some anxiety as well. I know I’m going to miss my mom, and of course my dog, a whole lot. I’m also nervous about living with a host family but also know that the experience will help me improve my French conversation skills and I’m very excited about that! I truly think that’s my biggest goal from this experience, to better improve my conversational French and to gain a deeper understanding of French culture. Knowing that goal helps manage the anxieties because even those experiences that I know will be challenging will help me to improve and achieve that goal which is incredibly exciting and rewarding.