Due to the procrastination that is all too common for college students like myself, I am writing my first blog post while I’m up in the sky somewhere over the North Carolina-Virginia border. Let me start this by officially introducing myself; my name is Ashley Sorrow. I am a rising junior at UGA majoring in Environmental Resource Science with a minor in Horticulture. I’m from the small town of Lavonia, Georgia where our main contribution to the world is poultry production and the lovely smells that come along with it.

The Art and Garden tour Maymester program through the College of Ag is my first ever study abroad. This is also my first time going out of the United States of America, and I’m a little anxious, but I’m mostly excited to finally step foot in Europe. For the tour, we will be going to 5 different countries in the span of 18 days (May 5th-May 23rd). Our first stop will be Rome, Italy where we will be going to famous places like Pompeii, the Forum, and the Colosseum. From there, we will work our way up to France where we will be seeing the iconic Eiffel Tower along with the Louvre. Hopefully the 2 years of French I took in high school will actually see the light of day. Next, we will be going up to England. Apparently, we’ll be there at the same time as the Royal Wedding so more updates will be given depending on how that goes. Since we’re in the same area, we’ll be stopping for a few days in Scotland, and Ireland, where we will depart from on the 23rd to head back to the homeland (Atlanta).

My main reason for choosing this study abroad was my love for Europe and the culture that comes from it. Most of my favorite bands originated in either England or Scotland. I’ve always loved the seemingly relaxed and carefree lifestyle that I have grown up hearing about from the music I listen to and television shows I watch. My second reason was the fact that it’s an art and garden tour. Being both a history buff and plant lover, what more could I have asked for?! It’s the best of both worlds (note the overdone cliché Hannah Montana reference). In high school, we were constantly learning about family gardens such as the Palace of Versailles, art museums like the Louvre and The National Gallery in London, along with other famous landmarks. Getting to visit places filled with so much culture and history for 3 weeks while also getting college credits made the decision easy for me. I signed up in October by talking to Dr. Tim Smalley and filling out the application. a few weeks later I found out that I had been accepted into the program. From there I waited for what felt like an eternity until the date of the flight that I am currently on. I am nervous about what is about to take place, but I know that this is going to be the trip of the lifetime and I cannot wait for the experiences that I am about to have.