You are entering a place where few dare tread. It is unappealing to the pallet and boggling to the mind. A veritable “Twilight Zone” of contradictions. This is my life. I am a 35 year old sophomore in community college, attending San Antonio College, one of the Alamo colleges in Texas. I have been put into the category named “non-traditional” (a term I do not like because, really, what is a traditional student?) because I am a mother of three, a wife of 14 years, and because I have a passion to carry on my degree plan at an age where most feel I should be in the kitchen baking cookies. Never being one to fit the mold, I have decided to go back to college and, not only that, but take advantage of all that this experience has to offer. Which brings me to this study abroad opportunity in Spain. Because of the Gilman Scholarship, and a bit of my own gumption (toot, toot!), I am immersing myself in a beautiful country!
Preparation for an experience like this is not easy however, especially for a student who has responsibilities to a family of their own. Preparation for my trip abroad began months and months before I was scheduled to leave. Some of those preparations included (very sweetly) talking with my husband about being gone for so long and so far away, asking my mother to help out with keeping my children (also very sweetly), and researching my destination in order to know what to pack and prepare for. I did the majority of the “sweet” work before my trip and the majority of the researching and packing closer to departure. I ran around researching adapters, rain coats, clothing, the most comfortable shoes, fighting with myself about buying those shoes or the best looking ones instead, best hairstyles, looking up Spanish phrases that might be helpful and so much more. Did all my efforts pay off? Well, that has yet to be determined. But in the next few weeks I hope to share with you all my experiences including the good, the bad, and the ugly. Happy reading to you all and heres to breaking those molds. Hasta Luego. -Meya