College is scary. College in a different country, well, I don’t think there are words in the English or Spanish language for that one. And yet here I am alone, absolutely terrified, 11,277 meters in the air, on my way to a 10 week study abroad experience at the University of Salamanca in—you guessed it—Spain!

I know what you must be thinking already. Every other week I will post about how studying abroad has “changed my life forever” as any other college student who has studied abroad will do. On the contrary! I’m looking forward to exploring the ways that the world isn’t so different across the pond while still capturing the beauty that is cultural diversity. 

Now allow me to introduce myself. I am WHUS Radio’s newest foreign correspondent, Kate Ariano! 

Since beginning as a news correspondent at WHUS my freshman year at the University of Connecticut, my plans for my undergraduate education have changed drastically. The whirlwind that is life blows you in different directions—and so does your plan of study—resulting in my earlier-than-anticipated semester in Spain. 

The cold hard truth is that there is never a “good time” to travel. You can plan your college education down to the minute (yes, I’m looking through this airplane window down to all of you on a Pre-Med track) but unexpected turbulence will always find its way onto your perfectly planned path. If you want to do something, go with your gut; hop on a plane and go.

WHUS’s newest foreign correspondent Kate Ariano (second from left) will be spending a semester in Spain and documenting her travels here (Photo: Kate Ariano)

You should know that any ounce of confidence I exude in this post is a complete façade as I have already cried five times today. But as much as I am going to miss my family and the pumpkin spice latte you are all drinking while you read this, I have to do this. Because it scares me. And a wise friend told me that if you don’t do things that scare you then you will probably regret missed out experiences—and she is so right.

If this sophomore in college who still blubbers at flu shots and has an irrational fear of sinkholes can board a plane by herself and leave home behind to follow a childhood dream, you can, too. 

So let the wind sweep you right down to the study abroad office and talk to someone—it is that easy. UConn wants you to gain as much experience from being a Husky as you can. Become a citizen of this world and expand your knowledge on the lives of others. Make an impact somewhere beyond Storrs. But know that Jonathan will always be waiting for you as soon as you arrive home.

Adiós for now Huskies!

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