Surreal…yet real.

Today, I accepted a study abroad scholarship. I have received a letter of acceptance to the TCU in Seville Program, paid a deposit, and am working on filling out my first ever visa application. I will meet my study abroad group this week. Papers and emails and dates sit before my eyes and tell me, “You are going to Spain.”

Yet I still can’t believe it.

Maybe it’s because I grew up in a small Midwestern town, pretty sheltered from the world. Maybe it’s because my international travel has thus far consisted of one-day cruise stops in the touristy parts of Caribbean islands. But ever since I was little, I have had a fascination with the world. I delighted in learning about how other countries celebrate Christmas and other holidays in elementary school, I became obsessed with foreign languages in high school, and now I am pursuing a degree in international relations. When I was younger, my dream trip was Paris. However, in 6th grade my school district began a Spanish program, so I stuck with that language in high school (though I added French later), and my sights became set on Spain. My high school sponsored a trip to Spain, but my parents weren’t thrilled with the idea of sending me to a foreign country on my own at that time. My dreams of Europe had to wait.

But now, not only do I get to travel to Europe, I get to live there. For an entire semester. I will be not a tourist of Spain, but a resident. I finally get to experience their beautiful culture instead of just reading about it.

I’ve been dreaming and talking of Spain and the rest of Europe for so long that it doesn’t quite feel real that I will be there in a couple months.  93 days, to be exact. I don’t think it will sink in until my plane lands and I step onto the streets of Seville, and even then it may seem surreal. Until then, there is much planning to do and much time to gush over everything Spain with my fellow study abroad-ers in anticipation of el mejor semestre de nuestras vidas!

-Steph

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