Now that the word's been spreading that I'm spending four months abroad this fall, "oh cool!" followed by "why?" have been the common reactions. Those were my basic reactions too when I decided to sign up.
So, why? The short answer: Because I want to. The long answer is a little more complex, and honestly I'm still thinking about the why.
I visited England for the first time three years ago.
Whenever I think about the time I spent there, I want to get back (read: Beatles pun) ASAP. I just didn't think it was doable. By happenstance, I read one of the weekly e-mails UF sends to students to see a blurb about a workshop my organization was, well, organizing. Scanning the rest of the e-mail, I saw the entry for London: Study Abroad. I pretty much instantly felt my heart strings tug a little.
After that, everything seemed to happen all at once. I told my mom about the program, cried about wanting to go (I estimate I spend 20 percent of my life crying over anything), then e-mailed the study abroad coordinator. Two days later, I sat in the coordinator's office, said I was practically ready to go tomorrow if I could and left with an impressive folder packed with program literature.
In the weeks following, I've filled out what's felt like dozens of applications (only three), took more passport photos (another blog post in and of itself) and fretted over money and logistics and the sort.
But now that school is over for spring and September 1 is speeding my way, I'm only getting more anxious and eager for the experience.