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### Your Sign to Consider Studying Overseas

This article was authored by a student writer from the Her Campus at George Mason University chapter.

Not everyone has the opportunity to attend schools that provide education in a foreign country. If you are fortunate enough to have the means, seize the chance!

During the previous summer, I undertook an internship with a nonprofit organization in Barcelona, Spain facilitated by my university’s Global Education Office. I spent two months working with Mujeres Pa’lante, a women’s immigration NGO, and the impact of this experience on me was profound.

Traveling was never a passion of mine throughout my life. I found little joy in the lengthy plane journeys, adjusting to time zone differences, living out of a suitcase, or navigating unfamiliar food cultures as a strict vegetarian. The prospect of being in foreign cities with language barriers and stressed parents only added to my discomfort.

In contrast, my sister has always been an avid traveler, having visited numerous countries. Her biggest regret during college was not pursuing a study abroad opportunity. Upon my enrollment at Mason after leaving a toxic university, she immediately mentioned, “Now you can finally experience a semester abroad!”

Initially hesitant about the commitment of a full semester abroad due to my negative perceptions of travel, I suggested opting for shorter programs like winter or spring breaks. After much discussion, we settled on a summer abroad. We agreed that I would apply for an internship related to social work in a Spanish-speaking country, aligning with my majors in Psychology and Foreign Language. Despite my reservations, my sister’s enthusiasm was contagious: “You’ll make friends, meet amazing coworkers, explore fantastic sights, enhance your Spanish skills, and savor the best vegetarian cuisine in the city!” I failed to grasp the excitement at that moment.

However, I must admit she was absolutely right about all those aspects. I formed strong bonds with my roommates and a friend from across the hall, becoming inseparable. The camaraderie with my coworkers was exceptional, making it feel like a perfect match. Exploring Catalonia with my friends and visiting places like Montserrat, Girona, Tarragona, Tossa del Mar, as well as excursions to Nice and Berlin on weekends off, enriched my experience. My Spanish language proficiency soared, and I indulged in more patatas bravas during my stay than I likely ever will again.

The opportunity was truly enriching, and I consider myself extremely fortunate to attend a university with extensive global connections. One of the highlights of participating in an international program through a well-supported university is the variety of options available. Whether you seek a short-term winter or summer program or a more extended summer semester, there is something for everyone. The university strives to match your interests, offers diverse internship opportunities, and extends financial aid to facilitate student participation. The support ensures a rewarding experience abroad, with most participants sharing positive feedback about their time overseas.

Around halfway through the program, feelings of homesickness began to surface. I longed for the familiarity, routine, and comfort of my hometown.

The day of departure arrived. My roommates assisted me in packing, handed me a granola bar for the journey to the airport, walked me to my Uber, and bid me farewell with warm hugs. While I cherished the two months of sharing a room with them, the anticipation of returning home grew stronger.

However, as I boarded my connecting flight from Lisbon to Dulles International, a thought lingered in my mind, “Could I possibly do it all over again?”