Going abroad is something that everyone should get to experience at some point in their life. Unfortunately, I have never been able to find the opportunity to do so….that is until now. When starting college at Carnegie Mellon University I knew that studying abroad was something that I desperately wanted to do. It always just sounded so exhilarating and exciting to be immersed in a culture different than my own and I have always been the adventurous type.
Before I knew it though, I was finished with three years of college and I still hadn’t left the country. There are various reasons that I never found the time to go abroad. Some of these reasons were that I was always heavily involved in extra-curricular activities, my degree program was more sequential than I anticipated, and of course, finances. So then I found myself starting my senior year with almost no time left to make my desire of going abroad happen.
Because I am a community advisor (CA) at CMU, which basically means I am the student in charge of one of the residential areas of campus, I have weekly meetings with my awesome housefellow Holly Hippensteel. During one of our meetings I told her that I wanted to go abroad, but didn’t think I would have the chance considering that I had only one semester left at school. And no senior wants to miss their final semester of college. But it was this conversation that got the ball rolling.
Holly helped me find a short term study abroad program in Sicily that would both fit into the winter break time span for my school as well as complete the history credit that I need to graduate regardless. And after quickly jumping through a few hurdles of getting the class credit approved as well as convincing my family that it would be feasible for me to make this trip happen, I found my self preparing to go!
I have to give a special thanks to the CIT Dean’s Office and to the Tartan’s Abroad team for giving me the financial support necessary for me to make this trip happen. Without it, I don’t know if I would be planning to hop on a flight in about four hours from now.
But, here I am. A senior in college. One who has never been abroad, let alone off the east coast, now heading to Taromina, Sicily for two weeks to take History of Sicily and experience a whole new culture.
I have to finish getting ready to take off, but for those who are interested, you can follow my first international adventure here!