I am a Sophomore, Biochemistry major and am so excited to explore a bit of Europe with some of my favorite people!

Growing up in Indiana, not many of us make it much farther than Canada (maybe Mexico for the more adventurous). Having experienced the Americanized Mexican resorts, the also very American Canada, and a fair amount of states, I was quite the cultured Hoosier. Moving down to Texas, I was surprised to hear where all my new Horned Frog friends had been in their childhood. Hiking in the Alps, exploring South America, medical brigades in Africa. At home, my beach was the sparkling water of Lake Michigan (more of a greenish-brown), my exploring was riding in Amish buggies, and my medical trips was volunteering at the hospital.  I always thought it would be cool to go abroad, but never thought it was something that I would necessarily do or have the opportunity to do.

But then I chose TCU.

Having made my decision within the last week of May, I was immediately bombarded with all the sign ups for orientation, housing payments, and Frog Camp. And, of course, with my adventurous spirit, my first pick was Mystery. I thought it would be so cool to be flown off to some random city in the country. It was full. My second pick was Costa Rica. I imagined hiking the volcanoes and beaches would be even cooler than the Riviera Maya in Mexico. It was full. So then I checked my third choice, Paris. For some reason I was scared to call and sign up for this one, so I put it on the back burner to look at the others. I considered the Colorado one, it was full. The only open ones were Quest, one of the Casa Nuevas, and Paris. I had never been abroad, I was reluctant to sign up and it felt weird to even think I would be going to this exotic place I only knew from Ratatouille. I finally signed up so I didn’t miss out on the coveted Frog Camp.

It turned out to be the coolest opportunity I had ever experienced. The biggest realization was that it wasn’t at all like my preconceptions. It felt different yet normal. And I came back with a self-perspective I had never experienced before. Experiencing that “exotic” piece of the world I only knew from history classes, TV, and movies with my own eyes helped start to see how connected we are. And now that I have had my first global experience, I found what travel means to me. It helps me understand how I am connected with the global community-one experience at a time.

So, for this trip, I hope to just experience another piece of the globe. Sure, I am always one to be excited for a good food dish, an insightful museum, or explorations. But what I am most excited for, is to absorb how connected life is in Scandinavia and make the exotic foreign countries of Scandinavia a bit more familiar.


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