When I get an idea into my head, it’s not easily dislodged. In seventh grade, I took a career aptitude test telling me I should be a chemical engineer. Since then, I haven’t looked back and I based my life on being a chemical engineer. Six years later and I’m planning to go graduate school and obtain a PhD in chemical engineering or something related to it. So it comes as no surprise that last year when I decided that I wanted to study abroad in the United Kingdom, I turned this desire into a reality. After having one friend, Lindsey, attempt to find somewhere to study in the UK and be saddened by all the dead ends she turned up, I wanted to make studying abroad happen not only happen  not only for me but also for Lindsey.
Ever since I read Harry Potter books one through four during third grade in less than a week, I have found myself interested in the England and the UK. When I was ten, I think I simply wanted to go to Hogwarts and become best friends with Hermione. But as I continued to grow and mature, I simply enjoyed the idea of far off travel to beautiful cities such as Rome, Paris and London. As a college student, study abroad allows me to travel and see Europe while I’m young and can simply stay in hostels and ride the trains to my heart’s content. So I worked hard to find an English-speaking university where I could take courses without being set behind in the chemical engineering curriculum. And after countless meetings with study abroad and academic advisers, it worked!
So from January 12 through the end of May, I will be studying abroad at Swansea University in Swansea, Wales. This includes taking fifteen hours of class credit, including twelve hours which count toward engineering, a three week spring break, and lot of weekends for exploring Wales, the UK, Europe, etc. And even as everyday draws nearer to my flight to London, I still can’t quite believe that I’ll be across the pond in the land of Harry Potter, Doctor Who and tea and crumpets.
Am I nervous?
Maybe a little bit, but I’ve always been adventurous. I spent over two months in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and this coming summer I’ll be in Houston for even longer. This may be a step into an unknown, but it’s also the opportunity of a lifetime. During my time in Alabama this past summer, I developed an appreciation for the people I worked for and got to see what life was like outside of the Midwestern states of Ohio and Illinois. I even got a taste of Peruvian life from Benjamin. This semester, I get to live and experience the culture of the UK and become friends with people who are wonderfully different from me. I am so lucky to be afforded this opportunity. And I can’t wait to share it with you as I begin a new segment of this blog. The next adventure is afoot and I am so excited to make all my family and friends at home in the US a part of it. Let’s go explore!

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