Dear Student About To Leave For Study Abroad,

I'm currently writing this letter to you as I sit on a plane. When this letter is published for you to read I will already be back "home" which feels unreal.

I know that everyone will ask me "how was Oslo?" But there will be no good answer. There's too much to say. No one word will ever sum up all of my experiences and emotions.

It feels as though it was only yesterday that I arrived in Oslo with my two suitcases in hand. Now, those suitcases are packed once again.

As much as I want to tell you all the cliche phrases (life changing, eye-opening, unforgettable, once in a lifetime) I know that they don't really mean anything. They're boring, lazy fillers used when you don't know what else to put in your essays and speeches.

There will be days you miss the United States. So you'll consume everything that reminds you of home just to feel like you're back.

You'll find yourself alone and lost then ask yourself, "what am I doing here?". But you'll take a deep breathe and start walking.

When the novelty of your host country wears off and it will, you'll find yourself bored, wanting to stay inside your apartment or not going to class. This is okay. You need to rest, relax, and recharge. However, it shouldn't be happening everyday.

There will be days and weeks you feel dejavu. They'll be exactly like home. But don't worry, it will get better.

Sometimes, your friends will drag you out of your apartment to socialize. Go ahead and let them do it because you never know what will happen.

When you figure out or realize something about yourself. Take a moment to pause and tell yourself "I never want to forget this feeling. Then don't forget that feeling

Before you know it you'll be saying to yourself, "this is it. I have to leave."

Every country you visit, course you take, language you learn, sights you see and souvenir you buy will never amount to the people you meet.

You'll take your friends for granted. You'll lie to yourself and try to convince yourself you won't miss them. But deep down you know that isn't true. Without any of them, your trip wouldn't have meaning.

There is much more I could say. If you have ever questioned going abroad, just do it! If you are, experience all of this and more for yourself.

I wouldn't trade anything in world for my study abroad experience.


Now what?