First, a disclaimer: I am not a writer. I apologize ahead of time if my posts are too long, too short, too rambling, or too jumbled. I’ve never kept a diary and dislike writing about myself, and this feels like an electronic form of doing just that. Yet, I’ve been told that I should write down my experiences while abroad so I don’t forget them. So here we are.
Second: T-minus 2 weeks before I leave for Granada, Spain.
From August until December I’ll be participating in the SU-in-Spain program. I’ll be studying at El Centro de Lenguas Modernas at La Universidad de Granada while living with a Spanish host family. As soon as I step off the plane and arrive in Granada, my entire life will switch from English to Spanish. All of my classes, interactions, and conversations will be in (rough, at best) Spanish. I’m not completely sure what classes I’m taking, but I know they will be centered around language, government, and Spanish culture. What courses I end up in depends on how well I do on the Spanish comprehension exam we have to take at the beginning on the program. Other components of the program include excursions and cultural outings.
Starting this blog and typing out this post is a little surreal for me. Up until this point the reality of studying abroad hadn’t really set in. Filling out my application, getting my visa, and picking my classes all seemed like they were separate from my real life; like I was planning an elaborate dream. Only now is it actually setting in that I’ll be leaving my little corner of the world for a completely new place. Dropping the familiar and changing time zones, languages, and cultures,
Part of me is terrified. I’ve never left the country before (Canada doesn’t count in my book). To think that my first time leaving the good ol’ US of A will be so all-or-nothing is a little scary. But most of me is excited. I’m excited to force myself to try something new, to speak a new language, to adapt to a new culture, and to move out of my now comfortable life in Seattle. I’m excited to have the chance to miss my amazing University in my amazing city and my amazing family of friends there. But I’m equally excited to fall in love with a new city and university.
Most of all I’m excited to have the chance to feel small in light of how big the world is and how much more of it I have left to see.
Sure there will be struggles, and languages barriers, and moments of homesickness. But they will quickly pass, much like my time abroad.
So, in the words of one of my wisest and closest friends, I’m determined to: “ríe, llora, vive mi vida y gozala toda” (laugh, cry, live my life, and enjoy it while I can).