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Filling out the pre-departure requirements for study abroad went something like this: Please fill out the health concerns in your host country. Please fill out the terror concerns in your host country, and so on. I sat there on my computer, anxiously typing out my plans to stay safe while overseas for six months. I couldn’t help thinking “What will I do without my friends at UVA? How can I do this on my own?”.

Study abroad is becoming more and more common for American students. The opportunity to live in a foreign country and to do some traveling for six months is difficult to pass up. I couldn’t help but look at the Instagrams of those who are already abroad and feel a twinge of jealousy. Here I was, stuck in the library, while they explored the canals of Venice or the streets of London. I felt like my life had become monotonous. Wake up, class, study, watch Netflix, go out. So many of us leave behind friends, boyfriends or girlfriends, and clubs or activities when we go abroad. It’s almost like our lives at UVA are put on hold for a semester. I was so ready to go abroad until the end of the semester began rapidly approaching, and suddenly I appreciated my little spot in the library more than I ever had before. As November merged into December, I was no longer excited to hop on a plane to Scotland. I was terrified.

I have come to realize, however, that there is no way to prepare for the experiences I’ll have abroad. Inevitably, my friends’ lives will continue on without me. We’ll text, FaceTime, Snapchat, and stay connected even while on opposite sides of the world. And when fourth year arrives, it will be as if I never left. However, being in a new continent, in a new country, in a new city without any familiar faces will be a challenge and an adjustment. I can only hope that I’ll meet new and interesting friends along the way while keeping in touch with those who have made my college experience so amazing thus far.

 

 

(All photos courtesy of pexels.com) 

 

 

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