From the moment I was accepted to the University of Georgia four years ago, I had always dreamt of studying abroad. In my mind, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity, something every college student should participate in, and a coming of age experience. It was finally during my junior year that I decided to apply to a Maymester program in Italy. I was excited and nervous about the chance to experience living abroad … and I was denied. Receiving that rejection made me feel like I would never have another chance to go abroad. I felt so defeated that I was convinced that I would never apply for another program because I didn’t want to be rejected again. However, as time passed I began to warm back up to the idea of leaving the country and experiencing something new. My advisor and a few colleagues of mine gave me the idea of applying to a Scotland spring break program. It wasn’t the Maymester that I had hoped for but, as a senior, it was my last chance at studying abroad.
When I was accepted into the program I was ecstatic! At this point, I was grateful to travel anywhere. Scotland was not necessarily at the top of my bucket list, but I was thankful to be going. In the following months, I tried to prepare myself for the short week that I would have overseas. I had no idea what to expect and had very little knowledge of Scotland, but it didn’t matter to me. I was ready for anything.
One thing that I hadn’t thought about during this whole process was who would I be traveling with. I had always assumed that it would not matter. Making sure that I had a friend on this journey was the least of my worries for some reason. There were not many of us going on this trip, fifteen to be exact (not including the two professors). After attending my first meeting, I realized I should probably get to know my peers. Thankfully, that was not hard to do. The class was split up into smaller groups so that we could each design lesson plans. I was grouped with three other students, two that I had never met before and one that I had only seen in a few of my classes. At first, the idea of working so closely with complete strangers seemed daunting, but once we began meeting up to design our lesson it was easy. By the time we were a week out from our departure date, I felt that I had already made some close friends. I was certain that no matter what, nothing bad could happen during this trip and that it would be one that I would remember for the rest of my life.