Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

On the brink of a great adventure

I will be waking up in four hours to leave the country, and I am in packing frenzy mode right now.

A quick introduction: Hi, my name’s Callie, I go to the University of Pennsylvania, where I’m majoring in Hispanic Studies and English. I grew up in Carson City, Nevada, and I usually return in the summers to visit my mom, dad, two younger brothers, and our dog. Carson is a city of about 50,000…big enough to have six Starbucks, but small enough to not be able to go anywhere without running into somebody I know. Having already moved 3,000 miles away from home to live in Philadelphia for the past two years, I feel ready to spend the next six months in Buenos Aires. I have never traveled outside of the United States, so studying abroad has been something I’ve wanted to do for most of my life.

Getting ready to leave has been a flurry of shopping for luggage, clothes, and toiletries. Saying goodbyes, sending emails, making phone calls, lists, multiple trips to the doctor, dentist, bank, figuring out insurance, prescriptions for allergy medication, and on and on. I still don’t have a clear idea as to how I’ll be making phone calls from abroad, how I’ll find adapters for portable electronics so that my laptop/camera charger/hairdryer doesn’t explode, how I’ll sign up for classes, or how I’ll adapt to a new city, culture, and family. I have no idea how I will manage to do all of this (and so much more!) in Spanish.

And yet, I feel calm. Giddy with excitement, but with an underlying sense of calm. I know this will be a venture into the unknown, and I will have to learn as I go. But that, to me, is immensely liberating.


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