Hi, I’m Sam, a rising senior majoring in accounting at the University of Alabama. I’m from Louisiana, and this is my second time leaving the country and my first time traveling to Europe. While I am a little nervous, I am still incredibly excited for everything that is to come over the next couple of weeks.

I chose to study in London and Lisbon for a variety of reasons. First of all, this was one of the few programs that actually applied toward my major. In addition, I have always wanted to travel to London, and if I can knock out a 3-hour credit at the same time, that’s just perfect. Finally, I chose this program because of how convenient the dates are. The trip is only sixteen days long, and it fits perfectly into my break after finals and before my internship begins in June.

While I overpacked and stuffed basically all of my belongings into my suitcase, I still feel so unprepared and somewhat nervous for the trip. Should I have planned more stuff to do while abroad? Am I too broke to be traveling overseas? Am I supposed to know any Portuguese? Regardless of the answer to these doubts, I know that I am going to have a great time and there is no need to stress.

I think I am most excited to interact with locals during my time abroad. I am very excited to hit local pubs and restaurants around London and Lisbon and just talk to people. I hope to not be spending much time at all in the hotel room, hopefully just to sleep. Part of me is wondering whether the differences in culture will be overwhelmingly apparent, but at the end of the day, people are just people, and I am ecstatic to meet them.