PackAbroad Ambassadors: Elizabeth Vanegas

Hi everyone! My name is Elizabeth Vanegas and I am currently a senior majoring in Science Education. As my time at NC State comes to an end, I cannot help but reminisce about the time I spent studying abroad. At 19-years-old, I was a sophomore ready to take on Europe and study abroad in Spain. Then, my plans changed, due to the pandemic. Still, I found myself optimistic with two more years of college left – surely I could find a way to study abroad again. As my junior year approached, I applied again to study abroad. This time I set my eyes upon going to Prague for the summer. However, my plans were canceled yet again and I felt as if my chance to study abroad had slipped away. Thankfully, with the help of several NC State faculty members, I was finally able to get my chance at studying abroad by applying for the Prague Classic Fall Program.

As much as I would like to say that I was ready to jump on board and study abroad for more than the original 6-weeks I had planned, that was just not the case. Through words of encouragement from my friends and family, I found some small sense of courage to take on studying abroad for a full semester. As I look back on my uncertainty, I am grateful that I made the decision to go to Prague. The irreplaceable memories I made while studying abroad were well worth the wait.

If you find yourself in the same situation as I did, my advice to you would be to take a chance on studying abroad. You never know what could be in store for you. For me, I found a new sense of independence and confidence after coming back home. I also found that despite being thousands of miles away from my home, I was still able to make my host city my ‘home away from home’. Overall, studying abroad is a decision that will leave a lifelong impact on your life and you will find that even once you return, there are still lessons to be learned from your experiences.