Saying goodbye to my mom at the airport was a new type of emotion. Sadness, fear, anxiety, and excitement all rolled into one jumbled mess fueling me to make that final step out of the car and into the Newark airport so I was able to begin this life changing adventure. Walking through the airport initiated the fever dream that I was actually studying abroad, it wasn’t just a dream anymore, it was a reality. Although it did not truly hit me until I met my friend Sydney at our gate.
December 9th was the last day we saw each other at Villanova, we said our end of semester goodbyes, hugged it out, and I told her that the next time I would see her would be in the airport. Therefore, seeing her standing at the gate with a huge grin that we finally made it, made everything finally feel real. (Of course we took our cringey celebratory study abroad selfie if anyone was wondering.
I will say it was such a blessing to know my friend Sydney going into my semester studying abroad. However, only knowing 1-2 people can be extremely intimidating. I have learned it is essential to be your most social self right off the jump. You are only abroad once and have small room for error if you have a travel bucket list so mingle mingle mingle!! On my plane I met two IES Abroad students, one of which was living in my building. Dubbed my plane friends, they were the first non-Villanova people I met on my trip. My and my future floormate shared an Uber
to our flats reeling about the plane ride and wondering what our building would look like.
Upon arrival at Alberto Aguilero 7 we were both in shock to find that we would each have 8 flatmates. I have only ever had two roommates but for some reason the transition to eight went smoothly and has made this experience such a party. If you are going to Madrid next semester, Alberto Aguilero is the place to be! I could not have asked for better roommates in our Alberto Aguilero family.
If you are worried that there are going to be study abroad cliques and that making friends will be difficult, just take into account that there are several other people like you going into studying abroad knowing only a couple of people. Arriving at my apartment felt like freshman orientation again, everyone practically threw themselves at one another giving out social media and phone numbers.
If I were to recount my first day in five words they would be Jetlag, Jamon, Full, Lo Siento.
Jetlag: Pretty self explanatory, I almost collapsed in a cafe due to sleep deprivation. I then hallucinated my way through orientation which was such a blast.
Jamon: the first four days I was in Spain I could not find a restaurant where I could get anything other than jamon. I almost got the ick but at the same time it was so delicious I did not care.
Full: I was full from the Jamon and also ecstatic that I had a full sized bed. I really do not enjoy my twin XL at Villanova so this was an immediate luxury.
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Hey everyone! I am currently a junior at Villanova University and I am from Long Beach Island on the Jersey Shore. I love to surf, travel, and I am a Survivor super fan. Even though I will be abroad, I will absolutely be up to date on Survivor 46.