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If you’re scared, go anyways.

For anyone who is scared to study abroad, I was just like you. I knew that studying abroad was going to push me out of my comfort zone, and I wasn’t sure I was prepared for how far out of that zone I would go. It was daunting and exciting in the days leading up to my trip because I wasn’t sure what to expect. I wish I could say that I immediately acclimated the second I stepped off of the plane, but that would be stretching the truth. It was overwhelming trying to order food in a different language, use public transit for the first time, and just navigating a completely new place. But I can assure you, all of the stress and anxiety was so, so worth it. I learned so much about the world on my trip, but I learned a lot about myself, too. Before going on my trip, I thought I knew a fair amount about the world. But I could not have been more wrong. There are some things you just can’t learn from a textbook. Some things you can only learn standing inside the ruins of Pompeii or after climbing up Arthur’s Seat. And other things, you can only learn after getting lost on the metro for an hour in France. This trip gave me a lot of self-confidence in situations that are totally new. I can now apply it in both academic and professional settings in the future. It also instilled in me an intense desire to learn as much about the world as I can.

So, if you are like me, and you are scared to travel abroad, go anyways. Take the once in a lifetime chance. Do not let it pass you by. I cannot accurately describe how much this experience has given to me. It will change you in so many ways that you will never expect. But only if you are brave enough to let it. After this trip, I’m going to need to write up a new bucket list because I was able to accomplish so many of the items. And I think that’s a pretty good problem to have.