When I started thinking about studying abroad, the first thing I wanted to do was talk to my friends, professors, and mentors who had experience with study abroad and could give me guidance. I was lucky to have so many people I could turn to that were happy to share their knowledge. And the resounding consensus was that studying abroad would be the best experience of my life. My friends said it would be an adventure, my professors said it would strengthen my resume, and my mentors said it would teach me about myself and my goals. All of these sentiments are true, and they were said in good faith. But what they leave out is the truth of just how difficult it can be to go abroad, especially for a whole semester.
As my plane landed in the Edinburgh Airport, I could not help but feel like I had made a mistake. I had never left the country before, and now I was arriving alone in a foreign place that was supposed to be my new home. All of the simple things became little hurdles- setting up my dorm room, learning the bus system, finding the closest grocery store. Now I only have a month left, and as I'm reflecting on my time so far, all of the difficult moments seem so unimportant. What I will take away are the memories of the friends I've made, the adventures we've had, and the lessons learned. I didn't put much thought into it when I decided to study abroad. If I had, I am sure I would have talked myself out of it. I am so grateful that I didn't, because all of the hard parts are so worth it in the end. Studying abroad is an opportunity you will likely never have again in your lifetime, and it is truly an extraordinary time. You will learn more about yourself and the world around you in the time you are abroad than the rest of your college experience combined, at least I have. If you're considering studying abroad but you're scared or anxious, take a leap of faith. You are not the only one who feels that way, but you won't regret taking this chance.