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The 5 First Feelings Living in a Homestay While Studying Abroad

The decision to live in a foreign country for multiple months is a very scary and life changing choice. The first week in Barcelona has come with many emotions and feelings that I will never forget. 

Feeling Number 1: Complete Happiness

Landing in the airport and driving to my new family was a complete moment of bliss.  I was in a new country after months of planning and countdowns. Even though you are a little jet lag, nothing gets in the way of the happiness for the unexpected journey that awaits you.

Feeling Number 2: Butterflies With a Tad Bit of Fear 

Pulling up to the location I will call home for almost five months starts to create a little panic. Questions flood my mind about what the family is like. Will I fit in? Will I be able to make this new place my home? It seems a little scary living in someone else’s environment and making it your own. We study abroad to adapt and learn a new culture, so this has to be the right choice. 

Feeling Number 3: Jetlag With a Side of Homesickness 

It feels as if I didn’t sleep for an entire month. The confusion of where I am and what time it is sinks in. Getting used to a new room and a new bed that does not feel like your own yet is hard, But, the initial sign of homesickness is the first battle to overcome missing home.  What keeps you positive is curiosity. Outside my window and balcony there’s so much to see and so many areas to explore. Walking around my new neighborhood calms my sense of uneasiness. 

Feeling number 4: Calm

With orientation and classes starting soon, a routine starts to set in. Its important to remember that every single student in this program, is in the same exact position as you are; no matter where they come form. They all want to make new international friends and they are also out of their own elements. It’s a calming feeling to know you are never alone.

Feeling Number 5: A Sense Of Belonging 

After one week and a new routine setting in, you are not so lost. You use your maps a little less, and you start to feel comfortable in your new element. Barcelona is starting to feel like a second home with a new second family. Every past emotion leads to this sense of belonging, and you never second guess why you traveled all of these miles. 

Anna Rubino

Illinois '19

Anna Rubino is currently a senior at the University of Illinois at Chicago and majoring in Communications and Business Administration. She hopes to work in the sports marketing field and use her passion and knowledge of sports as a career.
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