Oi. Talk about scary, exciting, and well scary. But it is true. I am applying to study abroad.
The idea came to me over winter break. I was bored, hated working as a cashier, and one day, I came across a Facebook post from one of the girls from my school. She was talking about how she was going to study abroad in Italy in a few weeks for the spring semester. I was instantly jealous. How cool would that be?
On a whim, I checked out the study abroad website. I started clicking around a bit and I realized that studying abroad actually wasn’t as expensive as I thought, in fact, it was pretty darn affordable considering I’d be living in another country for three months.
The idea scared me though. I’ve always been a creature of habit. Even moving to a college an hour away from my house took almost a year and a half to get used to. But I made an appointment with the study abroad counselor anyway.
I went to the study abroad office, had the meeting, and I started getting really excited. Live in another country? It had always been my dream to travel to Europe. I’ve had an Eiffel Tower poster and a Big Ben replica in my bedroom since I was ten.
I brought home the paper work and talked to my parents. They were on board with it.
Flash forward to the end of winter break and the beginning of the semester. I was excited to go back to school but when I got back to my room and made my bed and put away my clothes, I was struck by homesickness.
To give you some back story, freshman year and part of sophomore year I struggled with homesickness. I went home every weekend. I didn’t have many friends at school. I hated college. But that all changed when my roommate sophomore year, Barbara, changed my perspective.
She forced me to do all the stupid campus events and included me when hanging out with her friends. Suddenly, college felt like home. Then, junior year started and I moved in with my current roommate, Becky. We hung out all the time and I started making all kinds of new friends. Suddenly, I never wanted to go home.
When winter break started, I was unhappy. I missed school. I missed my friends. I missed everything about college. So I expected when I went back, it would be the best thing ever. Wrong.
I was homesick the first week. I was stressed out, missed my bed at home, hated college food, and was too busy to make plans with people. It sucked. All of a sudden, study abroad seemed like the stupidest idea ever. If I was homesick an hour away from my house and surrounded by my friends, in a place I already knew and loved, what would I do with an ocean between me and everything I love?
But midway into the second week of the semester, things started looking up. I was back in the swing of things, and I started thinking about that pesky study abroad idea again. Maybe I could do this.
I thought it over a little more until I realized what an amazing opportunity this is. An experience of a lifetime. So, I took the plunge and asked two professors to fill out the recommendation form for me. I started writing out my application essays, and on March 11th, 2013 I will be applying to study abroad.
Oh crap. That’s scary.
Living in the United Kingdom for three months. Getting off the plane in a foreign country, alone. Oh jeez. This should be interesting.
So. Have any of you ever studied abroad? Do you have any tips?