And the Journey Starts… Now!

And the Journey Starts… Now!

Today’s the day; that “someday” that I have always dreamed about is here! The bags are packed, the boarding passes are printed, the countdown has ended. Today the journey starts. I know that the next five months will be five of the most challenging, exciting and amazing months of my life. I had a great last … Read more

bon voyage
Today’s the day; that “someday” that I have always dreamed about is here! The bags are packed, the boarding passes are printed, the countdown has ended. Today the journey starts. I know that the next five months will be five of the most challenging, exciting and amazing months of my life.

I had a great last day in the U.S. with my family. Church and a Panera breakfast (I will miss chai tea lattes & cinnamon crunch bagels a ton… but something tells me that the lattes and croissants in Italy won’t be such a bad replacement), followed with an evening of relaxing, a family dinner and watching the movie “Letters to Juliet.” I will miss family days so much while I am gone.

I could not have made it to this point without my family and friends. I am so blessed to have them in my life and am not sure how I will deal without seeing them for almost half a year. While I am very sad that I will miss my baby cousin’s first steps, family birthdays and goodnight hugs, I know that this will be the experience of a lifetime.

So, here I go. I leave for the airport in two short hours and I am giddy with excitement and nerves! I will do my best to blog as much as possible and keep everyone posted. And the journey starts… now!

The Countdown Continues

The Countdown Continues

It was not until I attended the pre-departure study abroad orientation on campus that I realized how many Mount Union students are traveling abroad next semester! Including me, there is a total of 22 students studying abroad. Students will be traveling to Australia, Costa Rica, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, New Zealand and Spain. Each … Read more

It was not until I attended the pre-departure study abroad orientation on campus that I realized how many Mount Union students are traveling abroad next semester! Including me, there is a total of 22 students studying abroad. Students will be traveling to Australia, Costa Rica, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, New Zealand and Spain. Each location varies drastically in what there is to see and do, and each student will have such a different experience while abroad.

I was curious to know what fellow study abroad participants were looking forward to most, so I reached out to a few students.

  • Laura Mould (Ireland): “I’m really looking forward to being able to travel through Ireland and Europe and see many of the things that I’ve wanted to see my whole life. I’m really just looking forward to the experience in general, being able to say that I did it and got to be truly independent and on my own for a while!”
  • Emily Stafford (Japan): “Japan’s culture and America’s is so very different. I am really excited to meet new people and see and try different things. It is a once in a lifetime chance to learn by living a new lifestyle. I hope that it will be a wonderful trip and that the experiences help me discover a new side of my life!”
  • Rachel Toth (Germany): “The thing that I am most looking forward to is being able to be totally immersed in a new culture. I love traveling and trying different things, so this will be very exciting – and a little nerve wracking as well.”

When asked, past study abroad participants were more than willing to pass on helpful advice.

  • Alyssa Greenwell (London): “Take advantage of every opportunity you are given while abroad. Travel to another country for the weekend. Try new foods. Experience the different cultures. Take risks. Studying abroad is one of the greatest experiences you will ever have so be sure to get everything you can out of it. It truly is the time of your life.”
  • Megan Shadrach (France): “It is important to keep an open mind about everything you see and do, and be able to laugh at your mistakes!”
  • Zak Suhar (Spain): “You might be afraid or anxious, but just know that studying abroad is a huge adventure. You may encounter struggles, confusion, sorrows and a lot of opportunities, but the most exciting things are the guarantees that are rewarded through travel. Just think how much you will grow and learn from this amazing experience.” (Zak is a fellow blogger. Check out his page here!)

What am I looking forward to most? I can’t wait to toss a coin in the Trevi Fountain in Rome and stand in front of the Eiffel Tower, for the first time, in Paris. I have dreamed of traveling to Europe since before I can remember, never believing I would ever be given the opportunity to do so. It feels so surreal that it is actually happening and I can’t wait to live out my dream.

The countdown continues: 35 more days!

Are you traveling abroad? If so, what are you looking forward to most? Do you have any advice for students studying abroad? Feel free to comment below!

Turn Your Cant’s Into Cans and Dreams Into Plans

¡Hola! Ciao! Salut! Hallo! Hello! I have less than two months to go until I start my European adventure and I am getting extremely anxious! In anticipation of my own study abroad experience, I find that I am constantly reading others’ travel blogs, flipping through countless online albums documenting their journey and watching videos filmed … Read more


¡Hola! Ciao! Salut! Hallo! Hello! I have less than two months to go until I start my European adventure and I am getting extremely anxious! In anticipation of my own study abroad experience, I find that I am constantly reading others’ travel blogs, flipping through countless online albums documenting their journey and watching videos filmed while abroad. From a breakfast of pork omelets in Thailand, to croissants in France, to rice in India, each location is composed of extremely different food, people, dress, language, landscapes, customs and traditions. It amazes me how diverse each city is, let alone each country! The world is so big and I can’t help getting excited just thinking of everything that is out there to see, appreciate and discover.

I came across a video a while back, called “Move,” which instantly set my study abroad plans in motion. I always knew I wanted to travel; however, after watching this video I decided to stop thinking about it and make it happen. So, I went to visit the Center for Global Education the very next day to talk about my options.

These three guys went on their own adventure and 44 days, 11 countries, 18 flights and 38,000 miles later.. an AWESOME video was made. Watch it, you won’t regret it!

Also, check out the endless possibilities of study abroad programs offered through USAC here!

It’s time to turn your “cant’s into cans and dreams into plans”!

Are you interested in studying abroad? What is your dream location to travel to? Feel free to comment here!

The Countdown has Begun

The Countdown has Begun

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Two Sundays ago marked the start of my three-month countdown until studying abroad in Italy! I leave on January 7. I cannot believe in three short months I will be flying half way across the world, making Italy my new home for almost half a year. The thought is so exciting, yet terrifying at the same time.

I have always dreamed of traveling. One of my best friends, Olivia, and I would always talk about how one day we would live in Paris and own our own cafe. We even planned to call it “Alyssa Deann” after our middle names. I always imagined riding a vespa around Rome, like the Olsen twins in When in Rome, and tossing a coin in the Trevi Fountain, just like Hilary in the Lizzie McGuire Movie. Watching these movies growing up always made me more determined to one day turn those fairytale moments into reality. I am scared to death, but there is no going back now! I am so happy that I am pushing myself to be fearless. I think Taylor Swift would be proud (yes, I am probably T. Swift’s biggest fan)!

While the thought may be scary, if you are at all interested in studying abroad, I suggest that you talk to Dawn Adams at the Center for Global Education in van den Eynden Hall. Even if you are on the fence about traveling abroad, promise that you’ll find out more! You will never regret taking the time to look into such a wonderful opportunity.

As my countdown continues, I created a bucket list of the things that I want to make absolute sure I do while I am in Europe. I am so excited to see what I get to cross off the list!