You know how people say that if something is meant to be, everything will work itself out in the end? From personal experience I can confirm that this is completely true. As I sit in the airport awaiting my (delayed) flight to Oviedo, I can’t help but feel extremely grateful and blessed to have such an amazing opportunity. I also can’t help but think back the study abroad application, all the obstacles I faced to get here, and all of my previous doubts and worries.
Deciding to apply to this specific study abroad program was not an easy decision. I am a first generation college student, my mother attended community college and never attended a four-year university that had as many opportunities as Rollins does, and my father is from Panama. Therefore, all of this is completely new to me and my family. It seems that everything I do from the moment that I first applied to college to now trying to take advantage of everything Rollins has to offer is a bit confusing and rushed. However, when I was a freshman and heard about all of the study abroad options Rollins offers, I knew I had to take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity at some point during my college life.
Spring semester of my sophomore year, when study abroad applications for this fall opened up, I knew I wanted to apply to Spain. Not only would I be able to to get the chance to study and explore in Europe, a continent I’ve always dreamed of traveling to, but I’d also be able to take classes in Spanish. Being born in the United States and going to English speaking schools, I am more proficient in English than in Spanish. However, I am extremely proud of my culture, heritage, and background, because it’s made me who I am today. I’m completely aware that European Spaniard culture will be completely different from the culture and type of people we have in Central America. Every Spanish speaking country has differences between their cultures and even the ways they speak Spanish including the accent and the meaning of different words, therefore, I know the culture and language in Spain to be something entirely new to be. However, I feel like my background and understanding of the language will help me navigate my new environment. I also I feel like I’ll be able to connect more to the Spaniard social life more than I would be able to connect to the social life in any other European country. I look forward to traveling to Europe the first time, stepping outside of my comfort zone, and everything this experience has to offer.