I had initially heard of the Macroeconomics in Croatia/Italy study abroad program during the Fall Study Abroad Fair, and I was immediately interested. Not only was the course being taught necessary for my major, but the locations of the program were also places I had always wanted to visit. I briefly spoke with Dr. Hasan about the program, and that short conversation was enough to convince me to apply. I sent in my application the next day.

In the days leading up to the summer, I was both extremely excited and nervous about my upcoming study abroad trip. Although I was soon going to be enjoying breathtaking scenery and beautiful architecture, I did not know anyone in the same program. I had failed to really make any friends in the pre-departure meetings that we had, so I was very anxious about being alone the whole time on the trip. When I finally arrived at the airport in Dubrovnik, these fears were immediately pushed to the forefront of my thoughts. I sat by myself on the bus ride to our hotel, and I did not say a single word to anyone until we arrived. I was terrified.

However, a few minutes after everyone got settled into their new rooms, a got a notification from the abroad groupchat. It was Dylan asking if anyone wanted to go check out the cafe next to our hotel. Next thing I knew, I was hanging out with about five random people I had never spoken to previously, and we were talking to the owner who was coincidentally from New Jersey. Next, we walked to the beach and enjoyed the breeze. I was overly concerned about not knowing anyone on my trip, but my first day abroad proved that I would be able to have fun regardless.