My name is Hunter and this is the story of how I studied abroad.
A Little Bit About Myself
I’m a junior at Iowa State University majoring in Public Relations with a double major in Women’s Studies and minors in Psychology and History. (I promise I’m not as crazy as my degree sometimes makes me sound!) In my free time I can be found socializing with random strangers, taking pictures, or looking up historical sights that I’d like to someday visit.
I’m actively involved on campus. I work at the ISU Writing and Media Center and absolutely love my job and adore all of my co-workers. Another one of my pastimes is music; I’m a member of the ISU Concert Band. I’m also a member of the Greek community and of several other various clubs and honor societies on campus.
Bit of Background
Over the summer 2015, I interned in Washington D.C. It was the most incredible experience of my life. I connected with friends from around the country, learned how to be successful in a professional environment, and challenged myself to visit unfamiliar places both with new friends and by myself. I found myself over that summer; I found the woman I’d always hoped to become.
As I left Washington D.C., I was convinced that I would be returning the following summer to intern once more in my favorite city. However, plans change. Often times for the better. Returning to Iowa State, I reconnected with friends I hadn’t spoken to for months. One such friend was a sorority sister who had spent the previous semester in Ireland. She was describing how beautiful Ireland was and I remember telling how much I’ve always wanted to visit.
Her response is engrained in my memory with startling clarity. She said, “You should.”
That was the end of the conversation. She was distracted by another friend and walked out of the room. On the other hand, I was left with my thoughts and feelings spinning around my head.
As a high school student, I knew that I wanted to study abroad. But as a college student, I had final made peace with the fact that my dreams of studying in another country would continue to be just that, dreams. But apparently my dreams weren’t ready to be cast aside that easily. So rather than focusing on my studies with the intention of seeking an internship in D.C. the following summer, I spent the first few weeks of school racing around campus while researching study abroad programs.
For the first time in my life I stopped thinking about what I ‘had’ to do or what I ‘needed’ to do; instead I focused on what I wanted to do. I put my time and energy into something that I’d always wanted to do and had given up hope of ever achieving: studying abroad.
Coming up next week: Choosing a study abroad program