Study Abroad Personal Statement

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Since I was a little girl, I have always dreamed of what else is out there in the world. As a kid, the places you would likely find me included: out in the woods adventuring, on the swings dreaming of the day I’d be able to fly away and see everything, or at the top of the tallest tree in the yard with my nose stuck in a fantasy book about some far-away land. My passion for exploration has yet to seize. I pursue adventure and new places like a dog sniffing for the bone buried in the backyard; relentlessly and with a feverish passion that lasts no matter how many obstacles I come across. All too often I gaze out a window grinning ear to ear, baffled by how much there is on this Earth, saying the words “there is a whole world out there”. Instead of exploring the woods by my house as I did when I was younger, I go for a drive and flip a coin to choose which way to turn at an intersection, driving until I find something that intrigues me. Instead of going up the trail on a hike and enjoying the view, I’ll purposely go off trail for my own mini-adventure and because of the excitement it brings me. There are times when I just can’t sit still… I have way too much living to do. Needless to say, my love for adventure has inevitably lead to a love of traveling, and I am certain I have contracted a severe case of the travel bug.

Growing up in the small town of Meredith New Hampshire, I didn’t get much exposure to diversity or different ways of life. The public high school in my town consisted of 400 students from 3 different towns, most of whom came from families that had been locals for generations. While I am grateful to have been raised in a cute little town by the lake with a great sense of community, I was bored. I thirsted for a chance to meet new people from different places. I made the decision to attend private school for the last 3 years of high school, this was a whole new adventure and a chance for something new— so I flourished. Before the switch, I had been on the quieter side. I was mild-mannered, low key, and went with the flow. I got along and was friendly with anyone, but I was by no means a social butterfly. Upon switching schools, I met new people, made new friends both older and younger than me from different places with different backgrounds, and I opened up like a flower in the springtime. I was succeeding in academics, athletics, and especially socially. While I did get bored after a few years, I am forever grateful that Tilton School provided me with a chance for my first true cultural experience. Over my spring break, I chose to partake in a service trip to the Dominican Republic. From the moment I took my first Spanish class, I became infatuated with Hispanic and Latin culture. A chance to combine that with my love for helping others and my insatiable itch for travel made for the trip of a lifetime.This trip was life-changing and eye-opening to say the least, but it also served as fuel for the fire that was my need for exploration and travel. After this trip, I knew for a fact that I needed to see the world. Not just vacations here and there, but I needed to be submerged in a culture and truly experience what else is out there. This solidified that my true passion lies in experiencing everything the world has to offer. Since my trip to the D.R., I have traveled internationally to England, Canada, Italy, Germany, and the island of Ibiza in Spain. Although each country and city was an experience of its own and I am grateful for each one, each new place I see, I grow more desperate for a full, extended experience.

By studying abroad in Barcelona, I will finally get to fulfill my hopes and dreams of living in a new country. I want to drown in the new culture and language, see the sights, taste the foods, and take it all in. I want to experience the high of being somewhere new, and I even want to experience the struggle of adjusting to a new place. To be able to attend school and do an internship while I am there is even more amazing. Each and every day will be an adventure, overflowing with exploration and opportunity. I yearn for the chance to no longer dream about that “whole world out there”, but to experience it fully.

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