You are here

Leaving on a Jet Plane

August 5, 2018

One week ago, I landed at Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky airport to spend a few weeks at my family home before returning to Indiana University for the fall semester. I have spent my time home reflecting on my experiences, sharing countless stories with my parents, and racking my brain on what to write as my final update for my IES Abroad blog. I decided to finally answer the question I was asked the most, why did I study abroad?

The answer is pretty simple, I suppose. I wanted to do something. I wanted to go to a new city where I knew practically no one and figure it out. I wanted to take a leap of faith that I knew would challenge me in ways that nothing else could. I wanted to experience the world outside of the small, but lovely town of Bloomington, Indiana. As tacky as it sounds, I wanted an adventure. In the weeks leading up to my departure from the U.S., I had moments filled with panic. There were times when I couldn’t believe what I had decided to do. Some nights, I would be awake until early hours of the morning going over my very quick decision to go abroad and questioning why I hadn’t spent more time considering my options. Here’s the real tea: uprooting your life and going to another country for a few months is scary. No study abroad student is immune to how intimidating it can be. It takes a leap of faith to choose to spend months abroad. Through the process of getting my immigration paperwork sorted, my tagline became, “I’m just rolling with it”. If you ask any close family or friends before I left, I’m sure they would all tell you how often I had to remind myself to go with the flow. In studying abroad, things don’t always go the way you picture and the ability to “go with it” makes the predeparture time less stressful.

So here we are, one week after my return to the States, and I can tell you that it is so worth it. What kept me going through the nights of fear and moments of stress was knowing that I was going to have the experience of a lifetime. I knew that once I was there, that I wouldn’t remember what was making me scared in the first place. On my flight home, I cried. I was sitting next to an 8-year-old boy, and I shed actual tears. I was sad thinking of all the friends I had to leave and how grateful I was to have experienced all that London and IES Abroad had to offer. I couldn’t help but smile as I thought back to how fearful I was before I left and how silly it seemed at the end of my time abroad. I have enough memories to last a lifetime, and I am beyond thankful for the people I get to share them with. I know that my summer in London is something I will be telling my kids and grandkids about someday.

If you’re reading this and considering spending time abroad, let me make it simple for you. Go. I know there is fear, and I know there is stress, but there is nothing that could replace what I have been given this summer. Do things that scare you. Take leaps of faith. It’s the best way to live.

From Our Blogs

Feb 13 5:42pm

Settling into Roma

by Hope

I have been in Rome for about two and a half weeks already. Here is a glimpse of my first week attending orientation and settling in my apartment, learning to do as the Romans do.

Learn more
Feb 13 6:05am

Past, Future, Orientation

by Katya

It was a Wednesday morning, bleary and drizzling, in the center of Meknes, Morocco, a city full of orange trees (don't pick them; they taste like lemons), and we were all slouched in a classroom, learning Moroccan Arabic.

Learn more
Feb 11 5:39am

Love at First Sight

by Sophia

I have officially lived in Berlin for a week, so now that the jetlag has worn off, I’m awake enough to write my next post. Before boarding the plane a week ago, I had so many worries running through my head. What if my luggage is lost?

Learn more
Feb 10 9:53am

Being Sick While Abroad

by Ameer

 

Learn more
Feb 8 3:55pm

So Many Activities And So Little Time

by Thomas

Somehow, my time in Quito has ended already, and even though a month in a foreign city seems like quite a long time, it never is enough. Luckily, the time flew so fast because I could not have filled it with more adventures and activities.

Learn more
Feb 7 5:12pm

Near, Far, Wherever You Are...Go to Howth

by Kirsten

I truly believe I have discovered the oasis of Dublin.

Learn more