Hola from Madrid! I am currently taking classes and interning in the beautiful country of Spain through the Madrid Internship Program. Studying abroad is an amazing opportunity that brings out many different emotions. After also participating in the Dublin Internship Program this past summer, I have observed and experienced the various feelings that come with living overseas. Here are all the relevant stages and emotions during your time abroad:
The idea of living in an unfamiliar country that is so far away from friends and family can be pretty nerve-wrecking. These nerves are extremely normal and valid; you are about to embark on a huge adventure and there’s no way you can know what to expect.
Along with nerves comes tons of excitement. Studying abroad is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and there are so many things to be excited about: traveling to new places, trying new food, meeting new people, and so much more! Once you arrive to the city, you will be excited to explore and take everything in.
After the excitement of the first few weeks settles in as you begin classes and your internship, it is very common to feel overwhelmed. Although it would be great if studying abroad was one big vacation, you are there to study, go to class, and work. General school stress that you feel in Boston will also affect you abroad. Additionally, you may be overwhelmed about being so far from friends and family. However, it is very easy to overcome these feelings by relying on your peers in the program who are experiencing the same emotions, as well as distractions such as constantly traveling and exploring new places.
After about a month or so of living somewhere, you find comfort in the new city with your new routine and friends. By the time I left Dublin, everything was so familiar and I felt as if the city was my home. After already living in Madrid for two months, I am extremely comfortable with my host family, friends, and the city in general. I am so excited that I still have so much time left!
As your time studying abroad comes to an end, you experience many mixed emotions. For one, you will be upset that such an amazing experience is almost over. However, you are content with all the time you had getting to know and explore the city. Even though you wish it was longer, you have a bunch of new, extraordinary memories.
Studying abroad is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that teaches you so much about different cultures and ways of life. If you have the time in your schedule and opportunity to do so, go abroad! You will not regret it.