The "travel bug" bit me hard in summer 2010 when I spent ten days in Italy. As you know, that eventually led me to Hungary and all over Europe. Leaving Europe left me thirsting to see even more of the world, especially the obscure and ignored parts of the world that most tourists would never venture to. A year ago, I was terrified (and excited) about moving to Hungary. Leaving the comforts and familiarity of the US for a post-community country was challenging enough, and I never would have considered a developing country. And a poverty-stricken third world country? Forget that!
This summer a friend from home went on a trip to Kenya with his university. After hearing about his experiences and seeing his pictures...I had the intense desire to go to Africa and mentally added that to my life bucket list.
Now cue the Kelley School of Business's Emerging Economies program. Kelley offers a class each spring to study global emerging economies. The class includes a 10 day study tour of an emerging economy over spring break and is very competitive to get into. Initially, I didn't think I would have room in my schedule my final semester to take a class I don't technically need. Because my study abroad advisor is a miracle worker, she found a loophole allowing me to take 12 credit hours next semester instead of the 18 (while still finishing both of my majors on time) I had previously planned on taking. That left plenty of room for 3 more credits for the Emerging Economies class.
I applied a few weeks ago and ranked Ghana as my top choice, with Chile, and China following. I can tell you for sure that a year ago I would have ranked China #1 and would have had no interest in going to Chile or Ghana. I found out Monday that I was accepted into the program and was placed on the Ghana trip! In addition, I received a scholarship covering 1/3 of the cost and am applying for a second scholarship that would cover another 1/3. Major kudos to IU and the Kelley School for being wonderful promoters of international experiences and enabling students to study abroad through a multitude of scholarships and for making this small town girl's travel dreams come true...twice!!
I've been listening to the song Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) by Shakira on repeat :)
|Next Small Town Girl adventure....AFRICA!!|