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Study Abroad Blog

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A Letter to Myself

Dear Me,

Studying abroad in Grenoble, France, is going to be the craziest semester of your life. Yeah you may think you know what you’re getting yourself into, but trust me when I say it’s more than you ever imagined. You will meet some amazing people and have friends from across the globe. You will take weekend adventures across Western Europe and see things you thought you would never see. You will eat some of the best food of your life. You will listen to amazing street music. You will go to some of the best museums in the world. You will love living abroad.

 One of the most amazing museums in the world I've had the pleasure of visiting.

However, you will miss home. You will wonder if studying abroad was really the best decision. You will second-guess your entire reasoning for studying abroad. You will have days where all you want to do is curl up in a ball, but you continue forward. You will want to give up, but you know there is only one way home and that flight doesn’t leave until December 19th so you keep going. It is those days that you keep going that I want you to remember the most. More than all the crazy adventures you took, remember how you pushed through the difficult times of studying abroad. Remember that you did have difficult times.

Remember how even though it was nearly impossible to make yourself get out of the house, you did it anyway and discovered amazing things. Remember your spontaneous adventures to the market, or to the museums, or to the mall with your friends. Remember how you spoke French every single day abroad. Remember the look on your parents’ faces when they saw you interact with your host parents in French. Remember how your host parents told you they wanted you to stay for the next semester and if you ever needed a place to stay in France, you could always stay with them. Remember how you made a home for yourself in this new city and how much that city grew to mean to you.

 Sitting around the fire with my host parents helped me feel more at home than almost anything else.

Remember finding a new bit of yourself on every adventure you took. Remember being nervous on that first flight out of France to Barcelona, but having one of your favorite weekends in Europe. Remember catching up with people from home and them telling you how much more sure of yourself you are now. Remember walking around Grenoble like it’s your city and how happy you were to have weekends at home. Remember feeling content and happy when taking walks through the park. Remember studying abroad isn’t just about the good amazing times, but also about the times that made you grow. Remember it's okay to be scared, angry, confused, tired, and sad even on an adventure as great as this. Remember to never shy away from the fact that you’re having a rough day but don't wallow in it either. It’s okay to not love every single minute of your time abroad, you're human, just remember to keep going.
 On my last flight into Lyon I couldn't help but smile
when seeing Grenoble in the distance.

The biggest thing though that I want you to remember on this incredible journey is that you did it. You made it happen. You pulled everything together and finished a semester you will never forget. You go, you.



Lisa Brice is the Fall 2015 CEA MOJO Blogger in Grenoble, France. She is currently a junior at Baldwin Wallace University.

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