why i studied abroad, and why i'm doing it again.

Studying abroad was something that I always had wanted to do, but I just didn’t know how, and I didn’t know when.

My junior year, I transferred to a new college, and I knew that this school had a really great study abroad program. I decided to do some searching for a study abroad program that could also help graduate!

My minor was international business. I knew that this would give me a nearly guaranteed opportunity to study abroad.

With lots of researching, I soon realized that the possibility of me studying abroad for a whole semester was not in the books like I had once hoped, but I could study somewhere for the summer, which was the next best option.

I’ve always had a fascination with London, and I think that it started by watching The Parent Trap literally over and over and over again when I was a little girl, haha. To this day, it’s still one of my favorite movies. Every scene that took place in London made my heart flutter a little, and I knew that there was something special about that city that I had to discover on my own.. in real life.

This love of a city that I’d never been to turned into a conversation with one of my advisors about studying in London over the summer, which eventually turned into figuring out the curriculum and booking a plane ticket. I couldn’t believe that I was actually about to do something that I had wanted to do my whole life.

Fast forward to summer of 2017, and I was sitting on my first international flight of my life to London. I was pretty scared but also so excited. I was really proud of myself for doing this. Doing something that I knew that I had to eventually do. Doing something that I knew would only be the beginning of my dream of traveling the world.

I’ve always had this weird fear of really disliking a city that I once loved in my head, and I was so scared that this would happen with London. But no, it didn’t happen. Not even close. I had an idea of what London would be like before I ever visited the city, and it was all of that and more.

I had a few people tell me to not get my hopes up, as London was a ‘big dirty city’ much like people describe New York City, but I didn’t let that stop me from keeping an open mind and falling in love with a place I barely knew.

There’s a magic about London that you can’t really describe. The people, the culture, the beautiful architecture, the hustle and bustle, the little coffee shops tucked away in streets, the gloomy days that don’t really seem that gloomy. Everything is magical, and you won’t really understand it until you had the chance to visit. And if you ever get the chance to visit London, you really really really should.

Being touristy.

Being touristy.

I fell in love with London. I left part of my heart in London, and I know I’ll be back there someday.

But until then, I get to travel to other cool places. Like to Italy in a week! It doesn’t really seem real that I get to go back to Europe to study abroad again, but I can’t wait. I’m a bit nervous, as usual, but I’m also so incredibly excited about this awesome opportunity.

I knew that when the opportunity to study abroad arose again, I had to take it. I would be a fool not to. I learned so much about myself last summer in London. I knew that this would be true for this next adventure of mine, as well.

I get to embrace a new culture and surround myself with people and things that I’m not familiar with, and that’s so exciting to me. If you ever get the chance to do the same, you should do it. It might seem a little bit scary at first, but it’s something you’ll never regret doing. You'll get home and be a changed person in a good way. You’ll feel as if you can take on anything. It’s a really cool feeling.

With all of that being said, If you have an itch to talk to someone about how to study abroad, or when to do it, ask. Take that first step. And if this is the little nudge you needed to do it, you’re welcome!

Have you ever talked to anyone that has studied abroad that said they wish they hadn’t? Because I haven’t either.

You’re not going to regret studying abroad, I promise you.

xo, Marissa

TravelMarissa Hoffman