A Study Abroad Alumnae Reminisces

Today marks one year since my first full day in London. It’s insane to think that an entire year could go by so quickly. I guess it is true when they say “time flies when you’re having fun” because this past year has been full of fun, new, challenging and exciting things for me. I thought I’d take this momentous time to reflect on my first week in London.

This was my first time ever going to Europe so it was the longest flight I had been on. This was also the first time I was ever flying by myself, and soon living by myself. The flight was as comfortable as a 7 hour flight could be whilst in coach (womp womp). I had a lot of time to think about things that I wanted to do once I settled down in London and just time to think about all that was going on in general. I was excited, scared, sad and just overwhelmed with so many emotions. I was constantly checking the little map on my screen that indicated where on our route we were and when the pilot announced that we were soon going to be landing in London, the butterflies kicked in and my palms began to sweat. I was really doing this and there was no turning back.

In London, i struggled a bit (a lot) to manage my two super large suitcases plus my back pack, a small duffle bag and my neck roll all the way across to the other side of the airport, which if you’ve ever been to Heathrow airport you’ll know is not small AT ALL. I met up with my KEI group and when our last member joined us, we were off to our housing!

We arrived at our dorm building and to me it was so cool because I’ve never lived in a dorm or outside of home. I commute to school, which everyone else on the program did not. They all lived in dorms at some point and either still did or were living off campus with other college students. This was all a completely new experience for me.

I got the keys to my flat and bedroom and was so glad to have my own private space. So I shared a flat/ apartment with 6 other girls in the program — other people shared flats with british students and/or other European exchange students — it just so happened that the flat I was placed in was an all American KEI girls’ flat. As long as I didn’t have to share a bathroom or bedroom with anyone I didn’t really care who I lived with. My accommodation was self-sustained. Meaning we had to buy and cook our own meals, get our own pots, pans, cutlery, bedding, etc. They provided us with the essentials, furniture, stove, and running water. We shared the kitchen and everything in it except we all had our own spaces in the refrigerators for our own food.

I took advantage of my bare room and went to the 99p store to get decorations for holidays like Halloween and Christmas. I also had a box of things I bought from Target and had shipped out to be waiting for me when I arrived so I would have nice bedding and fairy lights — we had periodic fire safety checks in our rooms and I got a couple notices about my lights a needing to remove them but of course I didn’t, everything was fine they never found out — ,hangers and a bathroom rug to make my room more homey. So the first couple of days were about settling in and making a strange place into my new home. I think I did a pretty good job at that and made the most of the little that I had. I also took this time, since I had about 2 weeks free before classes actually started, to explore my new city and check out the things I had all around me, including making new and some life-long friends.

Xox Amanda

What is your biggest travel worry?

"Roam if you want to / Roam around the world"

(Source: Spotify)

Each new journey abroad felt like the anticipation of the moment right before your first kiss with someone you really like.

floatonokayyy:

A LETTER TO MY FELLOW TRAVELERS: 
When you travel abroad, “they” always warn you about the culture shock you’ll face; contrarily, they also make you excited about the wonderful opportunities ahead of you.
You spend months preparing for your departure, and when you’ve finally reached your destination abroad, your days start to mesh into weeks, which become months. These months will easily become the quickest you’ve ever experienced.
At this point, you’re probably shaking your head in agreement while you silently try to figure out where the hell these past four months have gone.
Life moves by pretty quickly when you don’t really have any serious responsibilities to worry about for a couple of months. Right?
Most likely for the first time in your life, you have allowed yourself to fall deeply in love, over and over again. Each new journey abroad felt like the anticipation of the moment right before your first kiss with someone you really like. There’s something so beautiful about the thrill of experiencing something completely new and unfamiliar, both in terms of places and people. Face it: you’re in love with studying abroad. I know I was.
That’s why “they”, have no real way of preparing you for the heartbreak that comes along with leaving a place you’ve learned to call home, surrounded by people who have become your family. It’s the mature breakup that neither of you really want, but deep down know is for the best.
Alright so maybe all of that was a bit dramatic. Okay, it was actually really dramatic. The thing is that somehow you were able to find that this resonated with you, at least in some way. Leaving a place you’ve learned to love is one of the most bittersweet departures you’ll ever face.
Luckily though, you’ve made some good friends along the way who will always want to talk about the memories you’ve shared together.
Such as:-The simple beauty of ancient buildings and cobblestone roads.-Watching the sunset over the city you studied abroad in, while being able to legally drink outside.-Climbing to the top of an Alp in freezing cold weather.-Sneaking into a pub crawl and pretending that you’re Australian, to fit in.-Frolicking around castles that could have come straight out of a Disney movie.-Turning the boat ride from Austria to Bratislava into a “booze-cruise”-Getting lost in Berlin with new friends you met at your hostel, and coming back in time to watch the sunrise.-Eating your body weight at a buffet in Hungary that cost half of what it would back here in the U.S.
Those were my stories anyway.
You’re probably scared that soon, you’ll have to tell all of these stories in the past tense. You’re afraid that you’ll forget the smallest details that mean the most to you now. You’re afraid that people will get sick of hearing about the stories that they weren’t able to experience with you.
I’m telling you that it’s completely normal to feel this way when you leave something you enjoyed so much.
As written in the quote above, “that’s the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.”
The reason that I wrote this post now is because tonight marks exactly one year since my last night abroad. (Click here for details of that adventure)http://danielleortizgeis.studentsgoneglobal.com/blog/428/final-european-adventure/
Not a day goes by without me reflecting on my favorite stories from Prague. The thing is, that I have new stories to tell also. Life goes on and though you might have just experienced the time of your life and are having difficulty in coping with leaving it behind, I promise you that there are other great times ahead of you.
Appreciate the conversations you’ve had and the adventures you’ve experienced. Some people never leave the town they were born in. Others who leave to travel, view the rest of the world as a tourist from the outside. You my friends, are travelers; resilient nomads of the world. Consider yourself to be lucky to have fallen in love so many times.
With love,
Danielle

Everyone who has studied abroad should read this. Reblog if you’ve ever felt the way Danielle feels in this post.

floatonokayyy:

A LETTER TO MY FELLOW TRAVELERS: 

When you travel abroad, “they” always warn you about the culture shock you’ll face; contrarily, they also make you excited about the wonderful opportunities ahead of you.

You spend months preparing for your departure, and when you’ve finally reached your destination abroad, your days start to mesh into weeks, which become months. These months will easily become the quickest you’ve ever experienced.

At this point, you’re probably shaking your head in agreement while you silently try to figure out where the hell these past four months have gone.

Life moves by pretty quickly when you don’t really have any serious responsibilities to worry about for a couple of months. Right?

Most likely for the first time in your life, you have allowed yourself to fall deeply in love, over and over again. Each new journey abroad felt like the anticipation of the moment right before your first kiss with someone you really like. There’s something so beautiful about the thrill of experiencing something completely new and unfamiliar, both in terms of places and people. Face it: you’re in love with studying abroad. I know I was.

That’s why “they”, have no real way of preparing you for the heartbreak that comes along with leaving a place you’ve learned to call home, surrounded by people who have become your family. It’s the mature breakup that neither of you really want, but deep down know is for the best.

Alright so maybe all of that was a bit dramatic. Okay, it was actually really dramatic. The thing is that somehow you were able to find that this resonated with you, at least in some way. Leaving a place you’ve learned to love is one of the most bittersweet departures you’ll ever face.

Luckily though, you’ve made some good friends along the way who will always want to talk about the memories you’ve shared together.

Such as:
-The simple beauty of ancient buildings and cobblestone roads.
-Watching the sunset over the city you studied abroad in, while being able to legally drink outside.
-Climbing to the top of an Alp in freezing cold weather.
-Sneaking into a pub crawl and pretending that you’re Australian, to fit in.
-Frolicking around castles that could have come straight out of a Disney movie.
-Turning the boat ride from Austria to Bratislava into a “booze-cruise”
-Getting lost in Berlin with new friends you met at your hostel, and coming back in time to watch the sunrise.
-Eating your body weight at a buffet in Hungary that cost half of what it would back here in the U.S.

Those were my stories anyway.

You’re probably scared that soon, you’ll have to tell all of these stories in the past tense. You’re afraid that you’ll forget the smallest details that mean the most to you now. You’re afraid that people will get sick of hearing about the stories that they weren’t able to experience with you.

I’m telling you that it’s completely normal to feel this way when you leave something you enjoyed so much.

As written in the quote above, “that’s the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.”

The reason that I wrote this post now is because tonight marks exactly one year since my last night abroad. (Click here for details of that adventure)http://danielleortizgeis.studentsgoneglobal.com/blog/428/final-european-adventure/

Not a day goes by without me reflecting on my favorite stories from Prague. The thing is, that I have new stories to tell also. Life goes on and though you might have just experienced the time of your life and are having difficulty in coping with leaving it behind, I promise you that there are other great times ahead of you.

Appreciate the conversations you’ve had and the adventures you’ve experienced. Some people never leave the town they were born in. Others who leave to travel, view the rest of the world as a tourist from the outside. You my friends, are travelers; resilient nomads of the world. Consider yourself to be lucky to have fallen in love so many times.

With love,

Danielle

Everyone who has studied abroad should read this. Reblog if you’ve ever felt the way Danielle feels in this post.

yume-akira:

Hi I am Talena. Let me tell you my story. I grew up not having the best life. I had single mom who worked two jobs for a long time. My mom took care of not only me but another sibling of mine. We never had the luxurious life that many people have had. My mom literally did everything she could to get me to the best schools. Now in school I was never the brightest student.  I actually went to summer school and had to take remedial classes. Later on my grades started to improve. I worked hard, studied constantly, and left my social life. I ended in high school with a 3.7 GPA/top 18% of my class . I got into the university I wanted and now I am finally here. I get to have the college experience I never thought I would ever receive. I never knew originally what I wanted to be. I was indecisive. But now I fell in love with nursing. Nursing can branch off into so many things and one of them is travel nursing.
WHY:  I want to travel around the world experience new cultures and aid others in need of help. I finally found what I wanted in life. And I can have the opportunity to do this by studying abroad. I have always been fascinated with Japanese culture and have never traveled out of the country. I wish to learn how to communicate with others either way I can not speak the same language as them. I want to understand the “culture shock” that many people have so I can use this in the future when I become a travel nurse. ><
WHEN: I originally planned to study abroad in Spring of 2016, but it is $15,000. I decided I would rather do summer for $6000. If I do have enough financial aid I would most likely go in spring. ^^
HOW CAN YOU HELP: I set up a goennouce account where people could help by donating. 
https://www.goennounce.com/missions/view/id/2897
Every dollar counts towards my trip with expenses, tuition, boarding pass, and etc. 
I know it’s alot of money. But I was hoping that someone out there could help make my dream come true. 


We love Talena’s story - we believe everyone should have the opportunity to study abroad!  RT if you agree with us.

yume-akira:

Hi I am Talena. Let me tell you my story. I grew up not having the best life. I had single mom who worked two jobs for a long time. My mom took care of not only me but another sibling of mine. We never had the luxurious life that many people have had. My mom literally did everything she could to get me to the best schools. Now in school I was never the brightest student.  I actually went to summer school and had to take remedial classes. Later on my grades started to improve. I worked hard, studied constantly, and left my social life. I ended in high school with a 3.7 GPA/top 18% of my class . I got into the university I wanted and now I am finally here. I get to have the college experience I never thought I would ever receive. I never knew originally what I wanted to be. I was indecisive. But now I fell in love with nursing. Nursing can branch off into so many things and one of them is travel nursing.

WHY:  I want to travel around the world experience new cultures and aid others in need of help. I finally found what I wanted in life. And I can have the opportunity to do this by studying abroad. I have always been fascinated with Japanese culture and have never traveled out of the country. I wish to learn how to communicate with others either way I can not speak the same language as them. I want to understand the “culture shock” that many people have so I can use this in the future when I become a travel nurse. ><

WHEN: I originally planned to study abroad in Spring of 2016, but it is $15,000. I decided I would rather do summer for $6000. If I do have enough financial aid I would most likely go in spring. ^^

HOW CAN YOU HELP: I set up a goennouce account where people could help by donating. 

https://www.goennounce.com/missions/view/id/2897

Every dollar counts towards my trip with expenses, tuition, boarding pass, and etc. 

I know it’s alot of money. But I was hoping that someone out there could help make my dream come true. 

We love Talena’s story - we believe everyone should have the opportunity to study abroad!  RT if you agree with us.

Travel Friday: Laarne Castle, Belgium!  This beautiful castle extends all the way back to the 11th and 12th centuries!

Travel Friday: Laarne Castle, Belgium!  This beautiful castle extends all the way back to the 11th and 12th centuries!

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What’s one place you’ve traveled to that you were pleasantly surprised about by the end of the trip?

Travel quote on the path unknown.

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