Crossing off a Bucket-list Item: Positives and Negatives

Dannette Schroeder
Food and Consumer Package Goods Major
Business and Culture in Thailand
Summer I faculty-led study abroad in Thailand

It has always been a dream of mine to study abroad. All throughout high school I knew I wanted to have an awesome college experience and also learn about myself and grow in the process. Traveling has also always been one of my favorite things to do. While I was in high school I didn’t really have a specific place I wanted to attend college like most other people. I first started my college career at Grand Valley State University. After just one semester I knew it wasn’t the right fit for me so I decided to transfer to Western Michigan University. My journey at WMU has been one to remember so far, and I can’t wait to continue it with my last year in college. I have gained many friends and gotten so much support in my time here so far. Being at WMU has definitely influenced me to be a better person and to get out of my comfort zone. Out of the clubs I am in at WMU I have known a lot of people that have studied abroad, most of which have had an awesome experience which helped me in deciding to go on a trip of my own.

I decided to put studying abroad on my bucket list almost 2 years ago and I finally got the opportunity to go to the Dominican Republic for 2 weeks. Since getting accepted, I have had a few moments of panic but so many more moments of excitement. I’m the type of person that needs everything to be perfectly planned out and organized. So far this trip has taught me that I need to relax more, and the trip hasn’t even started yet! I have mostly been scared about going on this trip not knowing anyone I’m going with. I know that it will be easy to make friends though considering that we will all be around each other for 2 full weeks.

There a couple things that I am most excited for. One of those things is not being able to use my phone for the whole 2 weeks unless I have Wi-Fi. I made the decision to not get an international plan for the trip because I really want to have an amazing experience. I feel like I would miss out on so much of what happens if I’m always on my phone like I am at home. The second thing I am most excited for is experiencing a different country. I have only been out of the country to Canada so this will be a really different culture to experience.

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