Six months ago, I sat in front of a computer screen filled with titles and details of study abroad programs all over the world. I knew that I wanted to study abroad and I knew that I wanted to do it soon. I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed staring at hundreds of opportunities that all seemed so inviting. I remember wanting to select them all! But a decision had to be made.
My study abroad adviser was an essential part of helping me reach my final decision. I have always wanted to study in Europe, so it was just a matter of narrowing it down from there. In the end, all of my interests led me to one single program: a CEA International Business Program in Seville, Spain. I never saw myself ending up in Spain, but Seville checked every one of my boxes.
After completing the application and pre-departure processes, it was time to get ready and go.
This is where the adventure really begins. Yet, just when the excitement builds, so does the worry. My biggest reservation was the fact that I was going into this experience without knowing a single person in my program or even my city. Other than the brief interactions I shared with my soon-to-be roommates on Facebook, I was going to step off of the plane not knowing a soul in a brand new country. This thought terrified me.
However, just like so many of my other worries, this reservation was quickly dissolved almost as soon as I arrived. Everyone here—staff and students alike—were so receptive and welcoming. CEA’s program size is big enough that I was bound to find people who had the same interests as me. On the other hand, the program is also small enough that I would eventually get to know everyone.
My biggest struggle in day-to-day life here is making sure that I don’t beat myself up for making mistakes. I must keep reminding myself that I am trying my best—even if I don’t speak the language or perfectly understand the culture.
Studying abroad has its challenges, but with every conquest of an obstacle is an incredible feeling of satisfaction. After all, every single one of us makes mistakes. I quickly discovered that some of the most enriching experiences are found in so-called "failures."
Now, I am almost halfway done with my study abroad program here in Spain. It’s hard to watch the time go by without wanting to scoop it all up and stay here longer than the four months we are given. I suppose that this is when you know you have made the right decision: when you want to go back and do it all over again.
Delaney Bresnahan is the Spring 2019 CEA MOJO Blogger in Seville, Spain, and is currently studying at Liberty University.