My adventure in Europe as officially been over for about a week now, and although I've been crazy busy with holiday events since I've been back, I've still had some time to really think about my semester abroad and how it changed me.
In many ways, how I developed this semester is something I didn't even really notice by myself, instead it's been the comments made by my family and the people around me that have truly showed me how I've developed. The best way I can summerize all of this is just by saying that I really feel like I've learned how to "adult" just a little bit better. I've bought plane and train tickets, navigated cities and airports where I didn't speak the language, lived in a foreign environment with customs I didn't (and sometimes still don't) understand, etc. Little by little these things helped me grow as a person.
Let's be honest for a minute, I've spent a lot of my life afraid of things. I have never been the kind of strong, independent, street-smart person who just went out and did things because I wanted to. I never really liked doings things alone, so I never ventured out of my comfort zone to experience anything new. Studying abroad was my chance to push my boundaries and I really feel like I did something I thought I couldn't. Many of the experiences that I had this semester are things that I never pictured myself doing, but now I can't imagine having not done them.
Studying abroad increased my confidence immensely. It gave me a better sense of respect for myself and for other people and cultures. It helped me realize how privledged I am to live where and how I do and to have the family that I have. It gave me a better understanding of finances and travel. But mostly it gave me a chance to enjoy being young and adventurous while I still have the opportunity.
I now only have three semesters left until I graduate college and enter the "real world" and in many ways I feel more prepared to face that now because of the experiences that I had while abroad.
Though my abroad adventure was probably not the fairytale amazingness that some people have or portray it to be, it was still amazing and really taught me a lot more than I had expected.
So although I still came home and let my mommy do my laundry and make my bed, I still have a better sense of what it means to be an adult and fend for yourself, and I have IES Abroad to thank for that.
One last thing before I sign off forever.....if you're reading this and you have never spent time abroad all I can say is WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!
With love (no longer) from Spain,
More Blogs From This Author
<p>I’m a 20 year old student attending Gettysburg College where I study English with a focus on writing and Spanish. I come from a big, close-knit Italian family, am in love with reading and writing, and am always open to new experiences. I hope to be as creative as possible in everything I do and can't wait to find influence from my semester in Salamanca!</p>