In the beginning stages of my study abroad adventure, I had many obstacles in front of my path. I approached these obstacles as if I were in a Gladiator Race fighting through the stress and turmoil, crawling through the mud and throwing myself over walls. In the past year, I have experienced weakness and unmotivated to push through these obstacles. The amount of paperwork, research, planning, and saving that came along with this journey constantly beat me down and challenged myself on how deserving I was to study overseas.
One area that never ceased to surpass me was being able to handle the finances that are required when you make the decision to study abroad. My advisors gave me budget sheets and estimates on how much a semester abroad would cost and the number was staggering. Throughout my days on campus, the thoughts of quitting came into my head as I walked to and from work, debating if it was going to be worth the effort. Going into the summer of 2016, I knew that my goal was to push myself and work hard so that I could afford my dreams. I became creative with how to raise money, including digging through trash cans at my local baseball stadium and little league fields for pop cans and bottles, so I could redeem them and save for my trip. After every baseball game, I gloved up and shuffled through stale hotdog buns and left over nachos to find that one last Pepsi bottle sitting at the bottom. As the summer progressed, I knew that these small efforts would make a big impact in the future.
On June 23, my birthday, I received an email from the Iowa State College of Business informing me that I had been granted the Schuler Study Abroad Business Scholarship. What an amazing birthday present, right?! Immediately after reading the details of the scholarship, it became reality that there are people out there encouraging me work my hardest, and to achieve my dreams.
As I prepare to leave for England on September 26, I had the great honor to have dinner with Steven and Rose Ann Schuler a few days ago. On a beautiful evening, we sat by the window of the Iowa Stater Restaurant at the Gateway Hotel. We talked about travel, school, family, and specifically how they were inspired by their own children’s study abroad experiences and wanted to assist current Iowa State students in their own adventures. Grateful cannot justify enough how I feel about these two people and the impact they have already had on my life. They were very delighted to hear about this blog and I eagerly encouraged them to follow along as I begin my adventures in Europe.
Hi Steve and Rose Ann!
If you have the desire, urge, and drive to study abroad or travel independently, nothing is more satisfying than knowing you did all that you could to grab hold of your dreams.
Only then, will you truly appreciate the kindness of others along your path.