Thoughts and Feelings Before Study Abroad

Jul 5, 2017 8:30:00 AM / by Julie Ritz

CAPA_MaitaAnkrum_London_Headshot.pngMaita is an official CAPA blogger for summer 2017, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Kinesiology major at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, she is studying abroad in London this semester.

In her first post, Maita tells us about what makes her excited and nervous for her upcoming study abroad experience.


T-minus five days until I depart for London.  I am trying to cram everything in that I can.  I feel like I am all over the place trying to get it all done, but closing in on total excitement.

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I was recently a co-host of my younger sister’s high school graduation celebration party.  Most conversations throughout the party went similar to this:

Family / Friend: “What are you up to this summer?”

Me: “I’m participating in a Study and Intern program in London for 6 weeks! 

Family / Friend: “Be smart, be safe, oh and have fun!”

Easy enough, right? When I think about my up coming trip to London, all my thoughts revolve around those three words; smart, safe and fun.  What if I forget something and wasn’t smart enough in my preparation?  Will I be safe?  What happens if I feel unsafe, so far away from home?  What if I don’t have fun?  What if I don’t make friends, to have fun with?

In a little less than a week, I’ll be going to a place I’ve never been with people I’ve never met and will learn new things each and every day of my 6-week period spent in London.

Worries grow from looking at the future in a negative light, which has been easy to do over the last couple of months.  As my departure date sneaks up, looking at the future in a positive light has been more of a challenge.  One thing that I’ve been juggling with is how to deal with mixed emotions of excitement and ambition, with feelings of fear and nervousness.

I am well prepared for my trip to London, I am smart in new surroundings, I will be safe and I will have the time of my life!  Things sound a lot better from a positive perspective.

Through these last couple of weeks, I have been aiming to take my feelings of fear with a grain of salt.  If you ask me if I’m scared, my reply would be yes, but, if you ask me if I’m excited, my reply would be an overpowering absolutely!

I could make a 5-page bulleted list about all the things I’m excited for, but to save the time I will only discuss a few.

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I’m excited to meet the people, walk the streets and immerse myself in all that is London. 

I’m excited for where I’m living and the people I’m living with.  For the past year at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, I’ve shared a two-bedroom apartment with four girls, but it is pretty spacious.    Soon I will be sharing a two-bedroom flat with five!  Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure we will have our own challenges with figuring out the puzzle pieces of the little space our two-bedroom flat in London will offer, but I’m so excited to build relationships with girls from around the country that I’ve never met before. 

I’m excited to eat fish and chips plus all the other new foods my time abroad will have to offer.  I made a promise to myself that I will be open to trying as many new things as I can while I’m away, including eating!  Camden Market, Borough Market and Broadway Market are at the top of my to-do-list.  I am also very, very excited for Tea!

I’m excited for my internship at Anatomie – a physiotherapy field based out of a highly successful private practice. After my second year in college, I have officially begun studying kinesiology, with plans to attend a physical therapy graduate program following my undergraduate.  I plan to soak up a lot of experience and insight through this internship and to learn everything I can from successful individuals in a field I am very interested in.

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I’m excited for my class, “Exploring The Global City,” and to learn from the professors at CAPA.  Coming from such a large University, I have struggled with getting to know my professors on a more personal basis.  Another goal I have for myself while studying in London is to take advantage of all the opportunities presented to me, especially in getting to know the people behind the program!

Most importantly, I’m excited for the person I will become in learning and living through all these things on my own. The next six weeks will be a great growing experience for me.  I will begin with learning how to commute through the airport without my parents, and continue to tackle new challenges on my own!  As I navigate my way around London and the UK, I will continue on a constant life-high through the remainder of my trip.  I am so excited for all I will be able to come back and share with my loved ones!

Now... I just have to pack!

Thanks Maita!

Maita's journey continues every Wednesday so stay tuned.

Learn More about the CAPA London Program

Topics: London, England, Predeparture & Study Abroad Preparations