Preparing for Studying Abroad

Upon acceptance at North Dakota State four years ago I knew that I wanted to study abroad, but it seemed like such a far off moment. Now, I am three days away from that moment. Two years ago I changed my major to Spanish and Spanish Education, and with those majors came the requirement to study abroad.

While a bit stressed, I am genuinely excited about this upcoming adventure as I travel to Madrid, Spain. Honestly, I have never been so stressed in my life. Luckily, “stressed” is “desserts” spelled backwards, as Pinterest so often reminds me.

I have been planning this trip for a year, but seriously preparing for the last six months in terms of coordinating logistics. However, all of that has fallen apart and been redone three times by now. It is truly amazing how months of preparations completely unravel with one email. My housing was finalized for the third time last week. Now if that doesn’t cause anxiety, I don’t know what does.

Considering all of the coordination between advisors, flying to Chicago to get my visa, tracking and booking flights, making sure my phone and debit card will work, exchanging money, work and three summer classes, it is no wonder that I haven’t even cracked the cover of my guidebook yet.

Fortunately, I have an entire day of flying planned and color coded. I have also taken copious notes and made lists of all the places I want to visit during my time abroad.

In case it hasn’t been made obvious yet, I like planning ahead—no—I need to plan ahead for my own sanity. I am organized and having to rearrange previously made plans is my worst nightmare.

That being said, I am most nervous about the laid back lifestyle of Spain, although I am also excited for this change of pace. Sitting on my couch now, I am nervous about leaving the home that I have made, but no more so than going to the dentist when I have a toothache. I love to travel, I love airports and I love pushing my boundaries.

That is not to say that I haven’t had a breakdown or twelve about the very same topics, but the amazing people in my life have constantly reassured me that it will all be okay and I will do great as I embark on this journey.

The next time you read this, I will be writing from Spain! ¡Adiós!

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