So perhaps you are excited and nervous. Fall 2018 students arrived on our premises with a bag full of questions, expectations and the will to get the most out of their semester abroad. Beginnings are great moments to ponder on how privileged you are to have the chance to share the start of this journey with all of them. I look at them and I see myself many years ago struggling with a terrible English in an American College where everything was as exciting as well as terrifying. I still cherish those first days today and I can’t help and laugh at my young-self making all those mistakes, getting lost in a small campus and feeling overwhelmed with the zillion new things that my study abroad year offered me every day.
These students don’t know yet, but they have four amazing months ahead of them in an incredible city called Madrid. The following months they will grow as human beings, not to mention while developing their intercultural skills. They are worried about grades and good academic performance unware of where the real transformation will be: inside themselves. They will start a journey to become global citizens, to open their minds to new perspectives and new ways to understand the world. They will find new ways to have fun, they will find themselves stretching themselves out of their comfort zones to explore the unknown and best of all they won’t even realize the achievement.
Then they will return home after this experience they will look back and realize how amazing the study abroad experience was. It is then when they will reflect about all the little things that have enriched them and will feel the hunger for the need to travel around the world and find new corners that could be called home. Among other things, the need to learn about other cultures in return it allows us to learn more about our own. Realizing the necessity that meeting people to learn, create moments and sharing experiences are the artifacts that we will cherish for the rest of our lives. Excited and nervous? Who wouldn’t be when your life is about to change for the better!