As I prepare for an upcoming site visit to the Skidmore in Spain program (Yay!), I am reminded of all the thought and preparation that went into my own first study abroad experience. I remember feeling so overwhelmed by the unknown. No matter how much I read about South Africa’s politics, history, climate, culture – I just couldn’t picture it. I couldn’t picture myself living there. I couldn’t picture who my friends would be or what my classes would be like. I had actually convinced myself that since I couldn’t picture it, it probably wasn’t going to really happen! I thought for sure, something last minute would come up and I’d never end up going.
But I did go. And within no time Stellenbosch became a second home to me.
So now I’m making a packing list for Spain, freshening up on my Spanish, reading about the current events, and trying to imagine myself stepping off the plane in Madrid. It’s not the same as preparing to put down roots in new country for a semester or year but it brings up those same feelings of excitement and the unknown.
It was so lovely to see all of the students going abroad next semester at last night’s pre-departure orientation. Please keep us posted on your adventures abroad! We love getting emails and photos or postcards.
And I’ll keep you all posted on my visit to Spain next week!
Oh…and in the spirit of throwback Thursday – here are a few photos of some of the OCSE staff from when we first studied abroad.