With a few days until my departure date, the reality of studying abroad is starting to set in. While everyone at home complains about the frigid temperatures and begins to bunker down for the long winter months, I’m constantly checking my phone for weather forecasts in Seville, Spain. 60 degrees and sunny. I try not to gloat too much about the incredible opportunity I’ve been given to study abroad in Europe, but my anticipation and excitement can’t be contained.
While I’m eager to fly to Seville in a few days, it’s also starting to set in that I won’t see some of my closest friends or family for months. Certain people I see every day won’t be there to grab lunch with me, drive aimlessly around Bloomington, or hang out in my room for hours. Now, my time spent with friends is filled with goodbyes and lasts. I’m not so sad about leaving Bloomington, but rather the people I’ve met there during my past two years at IU. I’ve tried to prepare myself for study abroad by scouring dozens of websites for the best hostels, cheapest airline rates, and travel tips, but I still don’t feel prepared to spend four months away from my friends and family.
Being abroad in a foreign city, I definitely think there will be times where I’ll want to call my best friend and tell her a funny story or vent to my mom about a stressful day. I know it will be an adjustment not being able to talk to these people as often, but I’m excited to meet new people and have new experiences. While some study abroad programs like London or Florence or Barcelona are full of familiar IU students, I wanted to go to Seville to have the chance to meet new people. At the beginning it may be hard venturing out of my comfort zone, but I definitely think it’ll be a valuable learning experience.
In the end, when I return to the United States in May, I hope I will have new friends, new experiences, and new stories to share with my friends and family. Until then, I can’t wait to enjoy the warm weather, sangria, and culture of Seville!