On Moving Away From Home

Oct 7, 2016 1:30:00 PM / by Julie Ritz

CAPAStudyAbroad_Florence_Emily_Kearns_Column_Profile.jpgWords by Emily Kearns, a CAPA Florence study abroad alumna. Emily will be writing a column called "Remembering Florence" on CAPA World the first Friday of every month.

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After graduation in May, I was feeling a bit hopeless; it seemed as though all of my peers had already accepted a job offer and were starting sometime during the summer. Then there was me — jobless. I was excited to be going home to spend time with my family and collect my thoughts after a long and stressful four years. I applied to so many jobs, tweaked my resume every few weeks, and wrote cover letter and cover letter, and now, after five long months, it is with great excitement that I announce that I have finally accepted a full-time position! Over the course of the past few weeks, I packed up my belongings and headed to Boston to work for...drumroll, please...CAPA!


I am so excited to get started with my job as an Admissions Advisor at a company I have experience with and have grown to love. It’s crazy that I’m officially starting my first “big girl” job and will be living in the real world.

Beyond all of the excitement of moving to a new city, starting a job, meeting new people, and starting a new chapter of my life, this big step is also terrifying. Every year I went to college in August, came home for both short and long breaks throughout the year, and then had summer break for roughly four months. Now, I’ll be working 9-5 every weekday, with a few vacation days per year. The worst part is that I’m a five-hour drive from my home. Though the University of Pittsburgh was four hours away, I always had a long weekend or break to look forward to — a few days where I could go home, relax, have some home-cooked meals, and not have to think about school. Now, I’m essentially only able to go home for a few days over the holidays, and any other weekends I choose to make the trip.


My family is the most important thing to me, and leaving them behind (with the exception of my brother who goes to Boston University) was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. Though I know I’ll be able to see them every so often, it’s still hard to think that they’re far away and that I can’t see them as frequently as I have for the past 22 years.

The feelings that I’ve been having about this are so similar to those I had when I chose to study abroad. I was scared, nervous, and excited to embark on that journey, and it was difficult to think of going almost four months without seeing them. Now, the situation is a bit more permanent; however, I’m trying to stay as optimistic as I can about all of it. I have so many opportunities right in front of me, and I’m so excited to take them.


I’m very curious to see how working on the “other side” of the study abroad industry will be. When people think of study abroad, they normally think of the students living in and exploring a foreign country. What most people don’t think about is the work that goes on behind the scenes, and the people who make those experiences possible. It is going to be interesting to get to work for a study abroad organization and help ensure that students have the best possible experience abroad!

Thanks Emily!

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Topics: Life After Study Abroad