Santa Clara University

Jessica Mendence '12

Global Research Fellow

I am a sophomore Accounting and Psychology double major who is also trying to minor in Religious Studies. In the fall, I plan to study abroad in Florence, Italy for three and a half months. I have very little experience traveling; the farthest place I have been is the Caribbean Islands. I chose to go to college close to home, so the longest I have ever been away from my family is two weeks. Also, I don't know one word of Italian.

Five adjectives that describe my feelings as I prepare for my abroad experience are terrified, nervous, unprepared, confused, and excited. I am terrified because I do not like being in places that I am not familiar with and I do not like being far from home. Also, I am afraid that I will not enjoy myself and will want to come home early. I am nervous because I feel uneasy about traveling, especially alone; a part of me is dreading going and just wants to get it over with. Additionally, I am completely unprepared since I do not speak the language at all and I have no idea how I am going to communicate with the locals there. I am confused because I don't know what the culture will be like in Italy and I don't know what to expect. Lastly, I am feeling excited. This is a great opportunity for me and I know it will be an adventure that I will remember for the rest of my life.