I’m flying to Tallinn, Estonia in 2 days and it’s time to buckle down and write this blog. In some ways this entire summer I’ve been mentally preparing for studying abroad and yet I feel as unprepared as when I was first choosing my program. I’m not sure what to expect from the new country, school and dorm where I will be spending the next 5 months, but if this summer has shown me anything, it’s that new people and experiences can teach me so much and the less I stress, the better things turn out. Let me explain how I’ve reached this bit of personal wisdom…

My travels actually started mid summer when I packed up everything I could fit into a suitcase and two backpacks, and left for the airport with a one way ticket to Barcelona. Since then it’s been a whirlwind two months traveling western Europe with friends (I highly recommend Eurrail tickets… ) and enjoying Barcelona (staying with friends is the way to go to save money). For someone who has only been out of North America once before, the ease of moving from one country to another in Europe has been a revelation, and traveling in train for 3 weeks has been equally exhausting, really confusing, beautiful, and overall something I’ll never forget. My goal for this year was to learn as much about Europe from personal experience as I could. I’ve learned so much already and although I’ll miss the friends I’ve made, I’m so grateful that my year is just beginning and I have Tallinn and more in Eastern Europe to explore.

The summer finally feels like it’s winding down and I’ve begun to switch my mindset to preparing for my exchange in Estonia. My UNM online class has already started and once I arrive in Estonia I’ll have a few days to settle into the dorm, go to the orientation for international students, and then classes will officially start on the 1st of September. Time feels like it’s speeding up and I’ve begun checking my email everyday again so I know the semester has begun…

If anyone is thinking about studying in Tallinn I’d be happy to answer specific questions about the program, preparation, etc. If you’re thinking about buying a Eurrail ticket or just looking at options for traveling Europe I’d also be happy to share my experience!