The last night of my program was spent toasting to the semester, hugging and taking pictures, laughing at memories, and crying from saying our goodbyes. The hardest thing I have had to do was say goodbye to friends that I have made along the way and survived almost everything with. Especially to Adrianne, my roommate this semester in the South of France. When we first met, we thought it was hilarious that she was the tallest person I’ve ever met and I was the smallest person she’s ever met. We spent all of our time together and were only separated by a thin wall in our apartment. I can’t imagine how my abroad experience would have gone if it weren’t for her. I met a new friend but also gained a new sister. She is my best friend here and I had to say goodbye. She lives in New York but we have made plans to keep in touch. We even share the same birthday. We both grew a lot this semester and nailed asking for directions in French, that’s for sure.
Before we hit finals week, I went on a trip to Malta for a girls’ getaway weekend!! I can’t believe I get to say that but we did and it was amazing. We were on this tiny little island on the coast of Italy, celebrating our study abroad experience. We made more memories and shared more laughs. I hope to see my friends again all together. The fact that it is possible to just pack up and do this for a weekend is beyond belief for me. We were able to sit, reminisce and have our heads in the clouds.
I think returning back home is going to be hard for me. Of course, I miss my family and my friends and of course, I miss the good old Texan food, but Europe is another world. Each country is enriched with their own language, culture, and people. There is no way that I could ever forget about this semester for the rest of my life. I’ve also heard that reverse culture shock is a true thing. I hope that those who read my study abroad blog get inspired to come along and embark on their new journey. I definitely have my own plans for returning to Europe.
This has been a dream come true for me and I can’t thank everyone enough for supporting me and pushing me to keep going forward. I am saying my goodbyes but I am also looking forward to greeting the University of Texas at Austin again. I have missed my campus and I would not be here without the help from our beautiful school. It’s time to end this story and look forward to my next chapter. Hook’ em horns all the way from the Mediterranean!
This post was contributed by Katherine Velez, a 2018 Global Ambassador. Katherine is an International Relations and Global Studies major, minoring in French.
Don’t get left behind. Read more about Katherine’s study abroad experience >>