Countdown to Nicaragua

Orientation gives online editor Meghan Hosely new insight

Story by Meghan Hosely, Online Editor

The Center for International Education held orientations for every program going abroad this summer this past Saturday in Centennial. While I wasn’t exactly thrilled about getting up early, it proved to be worth it, and I am still jazzed about the reality of this trip approaching.

The four-hour-long orientation went by surprisingly quick, and before I realized the time passed, I was equipped with more knowledge about what I was going to do once I land in Central America this June.

Knowledge like how to deal with sickness while away for three weeks or how I need to basically make a million copies of everything so in case I lose the original copy, I’m not stranded in a place where I’m not fluent in the language.

I also met the rest of the students I’ll be traveling with, which I found to be the best part of orientation. It seemed like I was the only one going on this trip. I knew no one prior to this Saturday, and now that I know everyone going, it makes this trip feel more real.

Real in the sense that it’s happening. Until now, talking about flight arrangements and our three-week itinerary left me thinking to myself, “Oh, this isn’t happening. I’m not really going abroad. It’s actually just a dream.”

But now that I actually know my peers, it has turned from a dream into an exciting reality. As we went throughout the morning, sharing our hopes and concerns of the trip, past participants and the professors joining us on the trip came to talk and shared their personal experiences.

The three students who had gone on the trip shared insight as to what it’s like living with a host family and practicing their Spanish skills, what kinds of food to stay away from in Nicaragua and where they went during a four-day weekend.

The more details they gave, the easier it was for me to put myself in their shoes. Even though I haven’t been in Nicaragua yet, it was easy for me to picture what the other students saw, which is so exciting.

I left Centennial around noon Saturday with a huge, stupid grin on my face. Looking back on it, I still have the same grin plastered on my face right now, and I’m sure it will happen again in the future because, really, how can someone not be excited about chasing their own dream?