MY Journey Abroad

by Vanessa Arieno on February 14, 2017
MY Journey Abroad

Hello, NU! If anyone has been wondering where I have been this semester, I'm happy to tell you that I have been preparing myself for my semester abroad.

Starting today, my five-month journey to the University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia, begins! The only thing that has been holding down my excitement is the tremendous amount of stress from packing, appointments, buying last-minute necessities and leaving my family and friends for months.

You can imagine the chaos of packing in only two suitcases for five months. Now try to imagine that chaos – times 20. I am the absolute worst when it comes to packing in general. Just a week ago, I traveled to Ohio to visit my sister for only one night and that alone led me to bring a duffle bag packed with various outfits, jewelry, and shoes...not to mention my jackets. 

It has been quite an overwhelming process preparing for my semester abroad. Now that my journey is about to take off, I can't help but begin to freak out about traveling cross the world alone for the first time in my life. Being an over-thinker, I’m anxious about my three different flights before I land in Australia. Once I arrive, I have 10 days before my first day of classes start. 

There are several orientation events hosted by the university. Within the first three days after I arrive, there is a bus tour of the city, a barbecue, and an international student orientation, among other events. You'd think with all these events before classes start I would feel more comfortable with meeting people and making friends, but to be honest, that is my biggest fear – that I won't make good friends. I love meeting new people and learning about new places, but having no family and none of my friends from home or school makes it that much scarier. 

Aside from my fear of not making friends, I cannot contain my excitement knowing that I will be traveling through a whole new country, seeing new cities, learning about Australia's history, seeing its landmarks, the classes I'm taking, the warm weather…the list goes on. Traveling is one of my passions and knowing that I will have just about five months of being able to travel is such an amazing opportunity. 

If you want to follow along this journey with me, keep checking the student blogs for my posts as this journey goes on! I'm beyond blessed for this incredible opportunity and absolutely love that I will be able to share it with you as I'm experiencing everything!

Stay safe, Niagara – talk soon!