It’s been three weeks since I’ve landed in Maastricht, and I’m still having trouble coming to reality.
Am I really here? This is actually Europe. I’m in Europe!
For someone who has never been out of the country before in his or her life, this is a big deal. Everything is exciting and new and overwhelming. I want to take it all in. Living abroad is so different than living in the States:
- The food
- The weather
- The buildings
- The culture
Living somewhere so different is such a big transition that at times scares me, but I’ve found a few ways to overcome the shock, and how to transition into calling Maastricht my home away from home.
Find something abroad you couldn’t find at home.
If you haven’t had Pinky’s yet, find one. It’s divine and so unlike anything I’ve ever had before.
Turn the negatives into the positives
Turn: I have to walk to the grocery store? Into: This is a great way to get exercise and a chance to get some fresh air. Turn: It’s freezing outside. Into: It’s cold outside maybe it’ll snow!
Act like you belong
It’s almost proven that if you act like you belong then you will feel more like you belong. I found that acting like this is my home makes it feel like home. I may be far from Texas, Mexican food, the warm weather, and all the familiar things I’m used to, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Here is home, here is Europe and for most people that’s a little more impressive than Waco, Texas.
Maastricht is fantastic. From the old buildings to the big open square, to the people who ride past you on bikes. It’s a world apart and also a whole new experience. I love going to the square, and walking around town looking at the big churches; this is part of my new home.
My adventure is just beginning and I can’t wait to see what happens next.
About the Author:
I’m Claire Cameron a junior journalism major, and I go to Baylor University all the way from Texas. I’m studying abroad in Maastricht and am a part of the CES program. I’m excited to be in Europe and I can’t wait to explore the world.
CES students are bright and eager personalities from all around the world who attend classes at all faculties of Maastricht University through the comprehensive CES programme of their choice. Programme topics range from ‘Business & Economics in Europe’, 'European Culture & Arts', 'Psychology & Neuroscience in Europe', 'EU Politics, Policy & International Relations', ‘European Society & History’ and 'European Law & Human Rights' amongst many others.