The Departure Mindset

Headshot of Tatyana Masters.
Tatyana Masters
May 14, 2023

I leave for home tomorrow. I knew this day was coming but didn’t expect it to come up quite so quickly.
Over the last few days, I’ve been in an efficient mindset, getting in last minute tours and sight seeing, buying a few gifts here and there for people, and trying to pack my life from the last four months into two suitcases. But now in the small moments of quiet as my suitcases sit zipped and ready to go next to me, I find myself overcome with sadness for my departure, but so grateful for the opportunity to miss something so dearly.

These past four months have been the busiest of my life. Almost every weekend I’ve boarded a train or plane to a new destination, seen things I never dreamed I would see, and made some incredible friendships that will last a lifetime. I studied interesting topics, learned about new countries and cultures, and became close with some of my incredible professors at IES Abroad. I got to walk past historical sites every day, experience all kinds of art, and learn more about the world around me.

That’s not to say all of it’s been good. There have been moments that really challenged me, put me in awkward situations, or times I struggled. There were moments I wanted to go home and give up on the entire experience. I felt homesick or lonely, but it was worth it. While those experiences might have been difficult, they made me so much more understanding of myself and made me more confident in my ability to handle myself. These things are also a massive part of study abroad. You learn to confront anything and everything. You learn how to handle yourself. Inevitably you will run into situations that might not be the most ideal, but they can teach you so much about who you are.

Leaving Europe is bittersweet. Bitter in the sense I know this chapter of my life is closing, but sweet in that I am excited to see my friends and family back home, and eager to see how I reacclimate to real life. There is so much about this experience I want to take back home with me to college. I want to take life a little slower, enjoy smaller moments, push myself to get out and do things even if I feel like staying in, and on a less deep reflection, cook some great Italian food.

Overall, I would recommend study abroad to everyone who has the opportunity. Not only do you get to experience a new place in a completely different way, but you get to meet new people and see some amazing things. You get to learn more about the world while studying in your classes then apply what you know to your travels. Getting to know the world will teach you so much more about yourself. Study abroad is a once in a lifetime opportunity that will live with you forever. It teaches you about how to be you in every situation, how to navigate any situation, and how to manage your time efficiently. So take a chance on study abroad. I don’t think you’ll regret it.

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Headshot of Tatyana Masters.

Tatyana Masters

My name is Tatyana Masters and I'm from Washington D.C. I can often be found with a book to read and camera on hand, looking for a new adventure or stranger to meet. I go to school in New York City, so in my free time, I like to ride the subway to different areas of the city and interview interesting people I meet for stories!

2023 Spring
Home University:
Fordham University
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