You’ve probably had that one semester in college that just dragged on forever. But there’s light at the end of the tunnel, whether it’s going back to your hometown, traveling with friends and family, or starting a summer internship. I would argue this past semester was one of my hardest, but reassurance came in the form of my study abroad program. Like most students, I applied to college with the hope of possibly studying abroad, and it’s finally happening!

My last week of sophomore year was a bit hectic…to say the least. I had my last final and moved out on Friday, drove from home to Atlanta on Saturday, and woke up for my first flight early Sunday morning. All through spring semester I waited for the feeling that all of this would feel “real”, but it only set in once I was hugging my parents goodbye before TSA. 

If I could recommend anything, I would say give yourself at least one full day of rest between your last final and your first flight. This might help you soak it all in and get one night of rest before flights, layovers, and all of the logistics in-between. I also packed two books for my trip, and it definitely helped me relax and enjoy my downtime. 

I was pleasantly surprised by how smoothly my flights went. I met two parents who had just celebrated their daughter’s graduation from Bama on my first flight, a few other students from Michigan who were going on a study abroad trip to Poland during my connection in Chicago, and the lady who sat next to me on my red-eye to Frankfurt actually worked with some Bama grads! I started my journey a little uneasy, but I feel more connected and assured after taking a chance and choosing to study abroad. 

You might have some reservations–I know I did at first. However, it can’t hurt to reach out to your professor or program director with any questions or concerns you have. They’ve (probably) seen it all and are great resources for students! I met with my professors when I was first admitted into my program and also sent my fair share of emails. Both Dr. Lee and Dr. Isomitdinov were extremely helpful in answering questions and helping me plan for my program. So send the email, ask those questions, and don’t be afraid to meet with program alumni!