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Preparing for Life as an International Student

Student Life

4,066 miles.

70 out of 27,165 students.

4,066 miles.

The distance from St. Louis, Missouri to Northumbria University.

70 out of 27,165 students.

The amount of American students enrolled at Northumbria University.

Starting in September I will be one of these American students thousands of miles from home.

Prior to January I didn’t have the slightest clue where Newcastle was and had never heard of Northumbria. Yet, 5 months later I have accepted my offer to attend Northumbria to complete my Masters in Strength and Conditioning.

It was Jan. 31 when an email popped up in my inbox. Subject: Northumbria University / Team Northumbria / UK Volleyball. At this time I had just finished my senior season of Division 1 volleyball and was unsure of what my next step was. All I knew was I wanted to get my Masters, I wanted to travel and I wanted to play volleyball. Masters. Volleyball. Travel.

Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?

2,043 miles.

32 out of 22,980 students.

2,043 miles.

The distance from St. Louis, Missouri to the University of Oregon.

32/22,980 students.

The ratio of Missouri students to total enrolment.

It was June 26, 2014 when my mom was in Eugene helping me move into my house for the summer. I was anxious and I was now halfway across the country from the place I had known for my entire life. Not to mention this was the first time I had been apart from my identical twin sister/clone/best friend. Needless to say it was a tough adjustment.

Fast forward 4 years and I have finished my undergrad with a B.S. in Human Physiology and minors in both Business Administration and Psychology. In these 4 years I learned the basics of adulthood, the workings of the human body and the feelings of homesickness which, let me tell you is a very real and serious condition. There is no cure for homesickness but, I have also learned that you cannot grow from inside your comfort zone.

4,066 miles. 70/27,165.

These numbers don’t scare me.

These numbers don’t stop me.

These numbers make my heart race, my mind wander and my soul happy.

Studying abroad is going to be a challenge. I can assure you behind the travel photos engulfing my Instagram profile there will be many struggles. I have already made mistakes, and know there will be plenty more mistakes along the way. In 2 months time, I will pack my life up into my Nissan and travel 2,043 miles back to St. Louis. Then come September, I will pack up my life into my suitcases and travel 4,066 miles to Newcastle upon Tyne. I am not sure what this next year holds but follow me while I navigate the exciting, and slightly overwhelming process of going overseas.

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