Preparing for Adventure!

Written by carolinepotts January 22, 2024

Ciao! My name is Caroline Potts, and I am a sophomore studying English and Business Management at the University of Iowa. College at Iowa has been the best experience I could have asked for, but I am really looking forward to studying abroad in Italy this coming semester and being a blog ambassador for CIMBA! When not studying, I spend my time reading, hanging out with friends, working out, traveling, riding my moped, and calling my family. I am so looking forward to continuing all my hobbies in beautiful Europe!

I have found that the college experience—as amazing and thrilling as it is—has required me to make many hard decisions. There always seems to be a question to answer. Where will I go to college? What will I major in? What classes should I take? What activities should I join? However, there has always been one clear answer to the “studying abroad” question. As I entered college, I knew that studying abroad was something that I wanted to do. I wanted to escape from what I had always known and explore a new culture on my own.

I am looking forward to meeting new people, trying new foods, and experiencing new cultures. My family (my mom, dad, brother, and sister) loves to travel together, and my parents’ enthusiasm for exploring new places has encouraged me to adopt the same mentality. My mom and dad have shown my sister, brother, and me how fun and rewarding exploring the world can be. They have exposed us to various cultures, and I realized my love for traveling in the back of our minivan on long road trips and in random hotel rooms. I found my addiction to adventure while looking at road signs I couldn’t read and long hikes through beautiful nature.

My family’s trips have shown me that traveling can be uncomfortable but rewarding. When I travel—and step out of that comfort zone—I notice those new experiences make me a wiser, kinder, and better individual. Traveling teaches skills I will carry with me for the rest of my life. Because of this, I look forward to growing as an individual and meeting people who are excited to travel and grow with me! 

When I learned about CIMBA, I was immediately attracted to its small-town charm and the school’s business specialty. I knew it would be the perfect opportunity to continue my education while immersing myself in a new culture. While I have thought about stunning Italian mountains, mouth-watering food, and the enchanting CIMBA campus nearly every day this past semester, I am most excited to meet new people. I cannot wait to get to know my classmates who are excited to become worldly and explore Europe with me.

While constantly thinking about my upcoming adventures, I must admit that I procrastinated horrifically. For weeks, I was so overwhelmed by the idea of packing that I simply wouldn’t. I would walk past my open, empty suitcases, begging to be loaded with study abroad necessities, just to lay in my bed and read until I fell asleep. I’ll do it tomorrow! I would think to myself, but I didn’t.

Now I am all packed up and ready to go, I feel even more excited for my future travels. Nevertheless, I have had many contrasting emotions throughout these last few days in the United States. I am so unbelievably excited for what is to come, and I am also proud to have chosen such an adventure. But I am sad to leave my family and friends. I sometimes wish that I could take all of them with me. They have hyped me up and listened to my monologue about everything I’m thrilled about. How fun would it be to explore Europe with them?

But one of the best parts about studying abroad is all the new people I get to befriend, so I can’t help but get excited to leave what I know and who I love to make new friends and memories. Preparing for this adventure is such a bittersweet experience, full of emotion. And I don’t think I want it any other way!