June 16, 2016
When I graduated high school just over a year ago, I received a copy of Dr. Seuss’ book, Oh the Places You Will Go, from a family friend. At the time, I knew I was going to Oregon State University for the academic year, but the summer to follow was pretty blank at this point. I had tentative plans to return home to Astoria, Oregon to work for the summer. At least, this was the loose plan until I was weeding out my email one evening during winter term.
Usually, as I am willing to bet most freshman students do, I simply delete the mass list-serve university emails without reading more than the subject line. However, for some reason that I will never know but am now immensely grateful for, I opened one of these emails and began scrolling through the list of current campus happenings. As I aimlessly scrolled, probably trying to fake productiveness while actually procrastinating studying, my eye was caught by a link for information about a summer trip to Barcelona.
I sent an email to the contact provided and the next day I was having mid-morning breakfast with a school librarian who was organizing this two week trip. After an hour of conversation she mentioned, as we were both finishing up, that she had heard about a summer long study abroad opportunity to Mexico. Upon hearing this, I emailed the program coordinator, Jennifer Jewett, and scheduled a meeting with her to learn more.
After about another hour long meeting, I had plans for my summer: Querétaro, Mexico.
This study abroad program is directed by IE3 Global which coordinates study abroad opportunities for multiple colleges in Oregon. The program I chose to attend is a five week summer session beginning June 18 and ending July 24. During my time in Mexico, I will live with a host family and attend a public Mexican university where I will be completing a year (12 credits) of 200 level college Spanish in five weeks.
It still has not hit me fully that in three days I will be in Querétaro, Mexico. My luggage is mayyybe half way packed, my plane tickets are still not printed, and I am still knitting up washcloths for my host mom’s gift. I am totally excited for all that is to come, and I am beginning to feel the time crunch as the clock ticks and my excitement builds. If a year ago, just after graduating high school, someone would have asked me what I had planned for the summer after my first year at OSU, I would have said nothing too exciting. But, here I am a year later, preparing for a summer more exciting than any I have experienced before.