T-minus 36 days until I leave for Salamanca!

Waldy Diez is a student at Rowan University and an ISA Featured Blogger. Waldy will be studying abroad in Salamanca, Spain on the ISA Summer 4 program.

This will be my first time leaving the United States, and only my second time leaving the east coast. This is madness!

I am so beyond excited to be going abroad to Salamanca for five weeks! I have finally started buying items that I am going to need abroad with me like a new backpack, some travel toiletries, a first aid kit and other personal items. I still have no idea what I am going to get for my host family!

I am having a hard time trying to pack for Spain because I grew up with the knowledge of over-packing, just in case. However, everyone keeps telling me to pack less – less is more, and my mind is having trouble processing this information. It is such a foreign concept to me.

This trip is something of a dream come true for me. I have always wanted to go to Spain. My love for Spain intensified in high school when I was assigned a project about Andalucía, focusing on Sevilla. I fell in love with Sevilla, its architecture, its history and its proximity to the coast.

When given the opportunity to study abroad, I immediately took it. I forgot all about the deadline and was rushing to get everything in on time. By the time I started my application, I had only ten days before my school’s deadline. I turned to my study abroad adviser who told me to go through ISA because that is who she had gone through when she traveled to Spain.

I went to the ISA website and went straight for Spain. I immediately clicked on Sevilla, but was turned off of its business-related courses; I don’t need any business courses for my Spanish major. I was torn between where to study.

Finally, I landed on Salamanca. I read all of its information and clicked on pictures of the Plaza Mayor and the University of Salamanca. I instantly fell in love with it and finished my application in the nick of time.

I am so grateful to be studying abroad this summer, and I plan to get the most out of it as I can. I am half Hispanic and partly Spanish, but I cannot speak the language fluently. I understand a majority of the language, and I am hoping these five weeks in Salamanca, in the heart of the country’s oldest university, will give me more confidence in my Spanish-speaking abilities. I am hoping to become as fluent as possible so I can come home and have a flawless Spanish conversation with my mom.

These next 36 days are going to fly by, and I still have so much to do. Until next time!

Author: Waldy

Video Content Coordinator at USA TODAY. Previously, The Press of Atlantic City staff writer covering breaking news in Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland and lower Ocean Counties.

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