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A Letter to My Nervous Pre-study Abroad Self

May 26, 2016

Dear Leigh,

You’re about to embark on the journey of a lifetime! You don’t know it yet, but it will completely change your life. You’re going to make new friends and see other places that the world has to offer. You’re going to have so many fun times, but there will also be bad times. That’s okay, though; it’s completely normal. At the beginning you might feel homesick, and adjusting to being away from your family will be really hard. You’re going to get through it, though. Not because you have to, but because your host city will start to become your home away from home. You’re going to meet some really cool people from around the world who are also in your study abroad program, but make sure you get to know the people who live in your city. It will be good for when you are in a class where you don’t know anyone. If you get involved, they will be more than happy to help you out. And who knows, maybe you’ll make some lifelong friends over in England!

Crew, in England.
Crew, in England.

There are so many opportunities that you will get to have that you otherwise would not get without studying abroad. As your time in England draws to a close, make sure you don’t focus on the things you didn’t get to do. Be thankful for everything that you did get to do and the memories that you will always keep with you. Remember, if there is one thing that you really want to do but it is a little costly, it’s okay to treat yourself and do it. If it is something that you would regret not doing, it will be worth every penny.

Ducks on a pond in England.
Ducks on a pond in England.

You will probably be travelling a lot with the friends you make in England, which is great! But I want to suggest that you take a trip by yourself. It will be an almost spiritual experience; your self confidence will go through the roof! And maybe you will need some alone time every now and then. After all, you’ll become pretty independent and self-sufficient while living an ocean away from your family and friends for half a year.

A walk in the woods, England.
A walk in the woods, England.

While traveling is important, you have to get to know your host city. You won’t be able to travel every day, and you don’t want to be a stranger in your city. I promise you are going to love where you live, and you will miss it so much when it is time to go back the U.S. You have to make the most of the time that you have abroad.

You’re going to have the time of your life, and I am so happy that you will be able to have these experiences and memories to cherish forever.

Yours truly,

A close friend

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