The Adventure Begins: Why I Chose to Study Away

Written by Mallory September 14, 2016

One of the best study spots along side of Furman's Lake. I'm looking forward to finding new great study spots in Italy.

My suitcase I got for the trip over.

As my departure date gets closer and closer, the reality that I am about to leave home for the next three months is really starting to sink in. My excitement is at an all-time high and I just want to be there now, even though I know I’m not prepared at all. (I currently have zero things in my suitcase…actually scratch that… I currently just picked out a suitcase to pack things in.) My flight is in four days, so I’ve got some work ahead of me to say the least!

My name is Mallory Ackerson and I am a junior from Furman University. There I am studying Communications while also being apart of the Sports Medicine Team. I’ve always been passionate about medicine and recently became interested in Communication Studies through a public speaking class I took my sophomore year. 

I have been lucky enough to call Furman my home for the past two years. Its weird for me to think I wont be there this fall, but I am lucky enough to have some people from home also studying with CIMBA with me. I have always been a home body. Growing up I was never one for sleep overs and dreaded my school’s experiential learning trips each year. These trips provided some of the best and worst memories of my years in school and I wouldn’t trade my experiences for anything. However, given the option to sleep in my own bed or in some sketchy cabin without a door in the middle of the woods, I’d pick my bed every time. These trips made me get out of my comfort zone and had me doing things I usually wouldn’t do. I learned a lot about myself and about my classmates through these experiences. I know I’m better off now because I had them. 

My decision to go to Furman was similar in a way to these trips. No, Furman is not some sketchy cabin out in the woods – it is definitely far from that. But it was a decision that forced me out of my comfort zone. It’s eight hours from home which was a huge thing for me. I looked mostly at schools that were relatively close to home. I couldn’t imagine being more than three hours at most from my house. But after taking one step onto campus, I knew it was the place for me and I needed to be willing to leave my comfort zone to grow. 

Now in my junior year, its time for another change, this one even further from home: Italy. Now, as opposed to an eight hour drive, I’ll be an eight hour flight away from a familiar space. I am so excited to begin my journey studying with CIMBA in Paderno de Grappa. I cant wait to immerse myself in the culture and my surroundings while I’m away. I have a running list on my phone of places I want to visit and things I want to see and do. 

Three months sounds like a long time; it’s about eighty days when you add it all up. A lot can happen in that amount of time. I am excited for the ways I will change and grow as an individual. I’m excited for the experiences I will have both on campus and while traveling. But for now, I’ll be frantically packing and hoping I don’t forget anything too important!