This past month has been bittersweet as I wrapped up my exchange semester and am now having to say goodbye to many of the wonderful friends I have made in Pamplona. When I take the time to really reflect on these past 6 months, I realize that despite having to say goodbye to it all, I am so lucky to have had such great experiences and to have met the best people. It is unbelievable to me how much I have grown as a person throughout this semester. I have gained a ton of independence by leaving the comfort of my home and moving to an unknown place where I knew nobody. In the beginning, I was very nervous about being on my own without the support of my friends and family, and it was honestly difficult to adjust at first, but after settling into Pamplona, I gained so much confidence knowing that I was capable of persevering through the struggles of culture shock & making drastic changes in my lifestyle. Also, through the International Agriculture Certificate program, I’ve significantly developed my intercultural awareness by adjusting to my new life in Spain, meeting people from around the world, and traveling to new & exciting places. Everywhere I go, I find myself incredibly fascinated by the people and diversity that exists in the world & was unknown to me before. It’s made me rethink my own perspective on life and what I personally value as well. I’ve been able to reflect a lot on my life back home and what I really want to get out of my future. I always thought it would be impossible to both pursue medicine and my dreams of traveling the world & exploring other cultures. My time abroad has opened my eyes and shown me just how important it is to follow my passions & remember that the possibilities are endless. I am beyond thankful that I had the opportunity to partake in this once-in-a-lifetime experience & for the many ways that it has significantly impacted my life. Although it makes me very sad to have to say goodbye to Pamplona soon, I am going to make the most of the time I have left here by continuing to expand my horizons & learning new things about myself & the world around me.

My friends and I on our last night together in Pamplona.

The UPNA International Student Orientation at the beginning of the semester.