2019 Summer Claire Hershey Serbia Temple Summer

Waiting to Land

I cannot believe that my study abroad program begins so soon. So much has happened since I first found out about this opportunity, and so much still has to happen before I leave.

I found out about this program when the professor leading it came to talk about it in my class. At first, I wasn’t really interested because it was in Serbia, and I had no idea where that was. After learning more about it and seeing some pictures from past students, I was immediately in.

This program counts for our first of two required internships for recreational therapy, and we will be working with children who have disabilities in a variety of different program centers and institutions. We will be there for 5 weeks and will be living on a college campus while we are there.

I am so excited to get this opportunity to complete my internship abroad, and also excited to see what college life is like in a different country. Studying abroad has always been a goal of mine, but after transferring from a different university, I wasn’t sure I would be able to do it. After hearing about this experience, I knew it would probably be my only chance. I had to make some tight squeezes into my schedule, which is currently way past full, but knowing that I will get to spend 5 weeks of my summer in a foreign country while learning how to become a better recreational therapist is all that is getting me through this tough semester.

Yes, this experience sounds really fun, but I also hope it will help me to become a more well-rounded professional. It will be interesting to see how the practices may be different in a new country–to see what they might be doing in Serbia that we in the U.S. don’t use in our practice. I can take the things I have learned in Serbia and bring them back to the States to help further the recreational therapy profession. I also plan to use this experience to better advocate for the field of recreational therapy, and I hope to advocate for this study abroad experience so that future students know about this amazing opportunity.

This trip is so close and I’m feeling overwhelmed. I still have to figure out my flights, decide what I need to buy, make lists for everything I need to pack, etc., etc., etc. While my to-do list keeps getting longer, at least I can find peace in knowing that I will have the experience of a lifetime, all while gaining credits towards my education. I am absolutely stoked to be going to Serbia, and can’t wait to share more of my journey with you.

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