So you applied to your dream study abroad program, waited with anticipation daydreaming about all the amazing things you are going to do on your program, and then a few weeks later you get a response. Your stomach drops worse than it does on a roller coaster… rejected.
If this sounds like you, you’re not alone. You see, I was in your shoes just a few years ago. I was a freshman with a perfect 4.0 GPA and involved in multiple extra curricular activities. Nothing could get in my way right? Wrong. The summer after my freshman year, I wanted to be the next dancing queen and study abroad in Greece! Throughout the process of applying, and after I submitted my application, I imagined myself dancing and tanning (or sunburning as my Irish heritage permits) on the soft white sand beaches, exploring ruins, and photographing the most beautiful sights. When I got the email that I was waitlisted and probably would not be accepted into my program, I was heartbroken (yes I’m dramatic but I was excited, okay?!). The door to Greece, or better yet the flight, was now closed. The deadlines for the other programs had passed, I was a failure… or so I thought. Later that same evening I got an email from the Education Abroad office stating that I could change my program to one that still had spaces left. “Change my program?” I thought to myself while still annoyed and focusing on my closed door. I thought, “Ehh better take a look, I guess,” assuming nothing could be as good as the MaMa Mia fantasy world I had created in my mind. I looked through the other summer program offerings and saw that one was going to be offered in Derry, Northern Ireland. It looked like something I might be interested in, so I clicked the link and read the description. Hiking, history, and heritage… sounds perfect for me!! I emailed back saying I was interested in the program and was able to fill out all the online paperwork to transfer my application that day and BOOM, I was in!
I can’t tell you that the Ireland program was better than Greece because I didn’t go on both. What I can tell you is that I had the most amazing time hiking the mountains of Ireland and learning about the Troubles that occurred in the country’s history — I forgot I even intended on going somewhere else. I met the kindest people and made friends at Temple that I would have never known otherwise. After the program ended, I became the annoying study abroad student that includes their study abroad experience in every other conversation they have. I was so moved by my program that I added an International business minor.
To sum it up, my rejection opened the door to another amazing opportunity. If you have been waitlisted or rejected from a program, don’t give up. Your future study abroad experience is waiting for you, all you have to do is find it.