Hello! My name is NyEmma Drakes and I’m a rising junior in the honors college, majoring in biology. The study abroad program I chose was the Honors immersed in Lisbon, Portugal. As part of the program, I will participate in a research project that is focused on green spaces and the built environment of Lisbon. I chose this program for a few different reasons, one being it fulfills the honors immersed requirement needed to graduate. Another reason I chose this particular program is because it focuses on topics discussed in a course that I enjoyed this past semester. It was a special topics class that consequently was taught by the same professor leading this study abroad. The course introduced me to the public health field and sparked my interest, which therefore swayed my decision toward choosing this study abroad program. Before I started college, I always knew that I wanted to study abroad at least once because a life goal of mine is to travel the world. CofC’s study abroad opportunities was actually one of the reasons I chose to enroll in the college. When I heard about this program and learned it would essentially “kill two birds with one stone” (an honors requirement and college goal), I knew I had to apply for it. During my time abroad a goal I have is to do all the touristy things like eating local/cultural foods and buying souvenirs every place I visit. However, as I’ll be living there for a month, I would also like to learn a little Portuguese while I’m there to feel more like a local and be more immersed in the culture. Another goal I have is to possibly make a local friend, in an effort to make lasting connections. The ultimate goal is to document all my experiences and adventures, by taking pictures/videos and writing about them. So far I have researched things like activities to do in Portugal and places/cities to visit. I have also researched meal times and what a day in the life of an average Lisbon resident looks like. Overall I’m very excited to participate in this study abroad program and I look forward to all the adventures that await me.