Leaving for Sweden to Study Abroad


by Jared Ebel, Greenheart Travel high school student in Sweden

Well, today is the day. Today is the day I finally leave to pursue a massive dream of mine and study abroad in Sweden. Today I will spend eighteen hours in airports and airplanes so I can spend the next six months of my life with a new family, in a different culture, and a different country. I still haven’t mentally wrapped my head around this entire situation.

It hasn’t really “clicked” yet. Every relationship, every person I have met and became friends with in the last seventeen years of my life, will be with me only electronically. I am beyond thankful for the Christmas gatherings and going away parties that allowed me an opportunity to say goodbye to all my family and friends.


I will be forced to start anew. I will have a different family and will have to make new friends. That’s a lot for me to process and I realize it sounds scary, but really, what an adventure. What an experience to immerse yourself in a such challenge and in a new culture.

It’s such an insane way to learn about the world around you and the massively diverse people in it. I could not be more excited to see all the new people I’ll meet and enjoy all of the crazy experiences I will have. It is sad to leave everything behind, but is even more exciting to travel and see the world.

I think some of us just weren’t designed to live within the bounds of our comfort zones. That is a category I most definitely fall into. Despite all my nervousness right now, I am filled with joy and anticipation. I can already tell that the decision to fill out an application and become an exchange student was one of the best in my life.

My new experiences with Lena, Joakim, Cecilia, Erika, Jonas, Tobias, and the friends I will meet will surely be incredible.


So here I am, sitting in an airport, waiting for my next flight. As I think back to my going away party and saying goodbye to all my friends and family, I can’t help but smile thinking about how lucky I am to get to enjoy such and of all the memories I will make.



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