Once I decide to exert my drive determination into a project, it is a forgone conclusion that whatever I set out to achieve will be accomplished.
Visiting the Study Abroad Center
My journey to study abroad had already begun when I stopped by the Study Abroad Center during a friend’s work shift. I had narrowed down my interests to two regions and needed help finalizing and choosing a program for summer 2016. I either wanted to A.) spend the summer in Latin America; or B.) spend the summer somewhere in Europe, most likely Ireland.
My friend accomplished A. easily enough by helping me schedule an appointment to discuss programs in Latin America the following week. However, B. was slightly more complicated because I was struggling with my feelings toward studying abroad in Europe.
Let me explain: I thought that I wanted to spend the summer in Ireland. However, even though I was and still am desperate to visit there, I was truly only interested in a vacation. For some reasons the dots weren’t connecting for me to have my heart set on a study abroad program in Ireland, or England for that matter, and if I was going to Europe I only wanted to study someplace where I could speak the language.
My friend finally asked me, “Hunter, if you could go anywhere, where would it be?”
My answer was instantaneous, “Greece.”
And that is the slightly oversimplified beginning of the story about how I ended up racing around ISU’s campus trying to figure out what I wanted to do with three months of my life the following summer.
Discussing Latin America
When I met with Nancy I already had a specific country in mind in Latin America: Peru. However, I wanted to leave my questions open-ended and seek Nancy’s advice on which program she thought best matched my interests. We discussed several programs, but it didn’t take Nancy long to identify the core of my interest in visiting Latin America: ancient civilizations and ruins.
So, while she said she’d love to have me in her program to Ecuador, she suggested I look into a program in Peru. At that point, I came clean and let her know that I’d been looking into a summer in Peru since fall of my freshman year. We talked for about an hour and I was thrilled to have finally made my decision: I was going to spend the summer of 2016 in Cuzco, Peru.
Summer Programs Greece
Something you should know about me, I’m dreadfully polite. I blame my mother for this terrible skill. So, even though I’d decided that I was studying abroad in Peru over the summer, I kept my appointment with Christine Gemignani for the next day; I didn’t want to cancel with such short notice because I thought that would be rude.
Christine and I also met for about an hour. During the first twenty minutes or so she told me all about this wonderful program in Thessaloniki, Greece. However, the entire time she was talking I could only concentrate on two things: 1.) that I’d already set my heart on studying in Peru; and 2.) that I’ve never been to Europe and five weeks did not seem like enough time to actually enjoy my first trip off of North America.
Finally, I interrupted and asked, “What’s a semester look like?”
Christine immediately switched gears and explained the differences in the semester program versus the summer. It took me all of a few heartbeats to come to a decision that would allow me to study both in Peru and Greece.
“Yeah, let’s do this.”
And there you have it. An impulsive decision led me to study abroad – both in Greece for the upcoming spring semester and in Peru over summer – because I didn’t want to be rude. It’s funny how life works out sometimes.
Coming up next week: How I obtained my Greek visa