Monday, May 15, 2017

Day 1

It’s a bittersweet feeling I have, sitting in seat 25G, somewhere over the Atlantic. So many things have happened in such a short time that I have not allowed myself to fully process it all. So now is my chance; with nothing to do for another four hours, I’m going to sit back and let my raw thoughts guide my fingers. Buckle up, it’s time for this story to take flight.

Back in January when I was chosen for the International Service Learning Program in Croatia, my life was such a wildfire blaze with work and school that I didn’t exactly know what I had said yes to. After four and a half months of classes, planning, and orientations, now is the first chance I’ve allowed myself to pull the pin on the fire extinguisher and fire away.

The simple facts, I’m on a plane with twenty-one other University of Louisville students and five faculty members. Flying out of Louisville the day after graduation, our destination is the small town of Sisak, Croatia. Upon arriving, our group, consisting of UofL Nursing, Engineering and Communication students will be split between two local high schools. In these high schools, we will not only be teaching the local students, but engaging in a cultural learning atmosphere in which we will be learning tenfold.  We have been diligently working this semester to create lesson plans that will contribute to an open, fun, and engaging learning atmosphere abroad. Each discipline has intentionally designed these lesson plans to promote cultural development and exchange, contributing to a higher level of global understanding.

For some students, this program serves many a first for life experiences. We even have students among us that have never flown on an airplane! Though only a short 10 days, this program will be an enriching experience allowing us to become more receptive and excited about the beautiful world around us. For those that have never had the privilege of immersing ourselves in another country, this trip will serve as a strike pad for future matches of curiosity in our lives.

We are extremely excited and humbled to have been chosen for this program and to represent our remarkable University (recent alma mater for some). All our hard work this semester is comparable to tiny sparks now. This is day one, the ignition of the flame and as each day comes, it will burn brighter within our excited hearts. Watch for our next blog as we unfold our day to day experiences, but for full disclosure, you might want to grab some shades for how bright our future looks!

- Brittany Osborne