Are you studying abroad next semester and feeling an overwhelming yet surreal sense of excitement? I certainly am. As I am applying for a student visa, booking flights, and seeing friends’ picture who are currently abroad, I’m anticipating this experience more than ever. Even though there are some nerves coupled with my excitement, I am trying to focus on all of the things I can’t wait for.
Even though most people don’t love long flights, I personally cannot wait for my 30 hours of travel to South Africa. The process of getting to your destination can sometimes be even more fun than actually getting there. In my case, the anticipation of the next few months will only build, and I think taking some “me time” on the plane will help me to calm my nerves and focus my thoughts on how to make the most of every moment.
One of the most exciting parts of study abroad is exploring a new country and learning about different cultures by experiencing it first hand. It’s always been my dream to go somewhere I’ve never been and learn to make it feel like home—this is the perfect opportunity to do just that (while indulging my wanderlust)!
With a new country comes new people. I’ll admit that I am nervous to leave my family and friends for four months, but I’m excited to meet people from South Africa, other international students, and fellow travelers. I’ve heard that study abroad brings people close together and allows students to form relationships that last forever, and I’m excited to create these meaningful bonds.
One of the things I’m most looking forward to is becoming more independent and learning more about myself. Going to a new country means that I’m plunging myself into an unknown situation, but sometimes the best experiences and memories come from being in unexpected places with people you never could have imagined meeting. I can’t wait to expand my vocabulary, try new foods, go on safaris, and take amazing pictures. And, of course, I really can’t wait to create memories that will stay with me forever. I don’t know where my South African experience will take me, but I do know that I cannot wait to find out.