In case you don’t know me yet, I’m Melissa Fielman. I’m a junior at IU studying International Studies and Spanish and I’m about to leave the United States for the first time. I won’t even try to explain the mix of emotions that I’m feeling. I’m sure you could take a guess. Just imagine being about to leave for a foreign place for ten months with hardly anyone you know and then you’ll have an idea.
Preparing for this departure has been hectic. This summer was full of paperwork, trips to secure my visa, and lots of confusion. I know the confusion will only set in more once I arrive in Spain, but I am so excited to be pushed out of my comfort zone. I mean, I didn’t sign up for an all-year program expecting to still live in my IU bubble. I wanted a change, excitement, and the opportunity to learn and grow as a person.
The hardest part about leaving, though, besides knowing my whole life is about to change, has to be packing. I don’t know how to fit everything into one or two suitcases, because I’m a ‘what-if’ person. “What if I really need this shirt? What if I need two umbrellas? What if I need something to remind me more of home? I could just bring my whole room…”
Now do you get it? So that, my friends, would be the biggest problem for me as of late. I know it won’t even be that important once I arrive, but right now it’s a problem right in front of me that I can deal with. I suppose I should listen to my dad’s words, “You’re not a fashion model, you’re a college student traveling abroad,” and learn to focus more on the adventures I’m about to have, rather than what I need to be carrying with me (besides my passport, that’s extremely important).
So I’m almost ready to leave, even though I’ll miss the IUB campus and everyone there. Indiana University will always be home for me, but it will also always be there for me when I return. So here I go, about to live in Madrid for ten months, soaking up as much as I can. I suppose I should say, “Here we go,” though, because you will be able to see how my trip unfolds through this blog. I hope I’ll be able to share a bit of the life in Spain with you and give tips and advice for any of you thinking about studying there in the future.
Let’s see what’s in store!