Let the Countdown Begin!

11 Jan

Wow. One week until I begin the biggest adventure of my life; a semester in Spain.   Finally after figuring out finances, writing scholarships, filling out endless paperwork, completing the daunting task of going to Chicago TWICE to get my visa, brushing up on my Spanish, and reading every bit of information about living in Spain, the time of my departure has finally arrived.  This time next week I will be in Madrid and there is no turning back.

The most challenging but best semester of college is in front of me as I will grow as a person and learn more than a classroom or book could ever teach me.   I look forward to being challenged by the language and becoming fluent, enjoying a night out at several tapas(appetizer) restaurants, visiting buildings that seem ancient in comparison to modern America, creating lifelong friendships, and of course the daily siesta.  My nerves are in full swing as I think about this great opportunity I have in front of me.  Will I get lost?  Will I say something dumb in Spanish and get laughed at?  Will I struggle to get good grades in my all-Spanish classes?  Won’t natives peg me immediately as a foreigner?  The answer to all of these questions is certainly.  In fact, if I come home saying no to these questions, it is likely that I did not fully dive into the culture and life of Spain. These small bumps in the road that are inevitable when living abroad are the exact things that will help me develop as a person and make me that much stronger!

The realization that I am leaving is hitting me hard as I remain at home while my brother and my friends all returned to Purdue this weekend, but trust me, I am not just sitting around bored out of my mind.  In fact, it is quite the opposite. This week is going to be full of shopping for the few items that I cannot buy in Spain and then figuring how to fit everything I bought along with a semesters worth of clothes in my seemingly too small suitcases, filling my brain with last-minute vocab and grammar, checking and double checking all of my documents, and spending quality time with my family.   There is so much to do, but I have made it this far and I cannot wait to see what Madrid has to offer.  Spain here I come!

Follow me on my adventures and get an idea of how a student on a budget can make the best of her 5 months in Europe.


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