Reflection by NyEmma Drakes

My time in Lisbon, Portugal has officially come to an end. I was here for about a month and enjoyed each moment. I have a mix of emotions about leaving Portugal. I must admit I am a little homesick, so it is exciting to be going home again to see family and friends. However, I am going to miss being abroad. There was so much to do and so many places to explore. I not only learned many things about Portugal’s history and traditions, but I also learned more about myself. I learned how to be adaptable when faced with challenges, like finding my way around a new city. I was able to adjust to a new environment and find ways to immerse myself in the culture, like attending festivals, learning some common Portuguese words/phrases, and trying traditional foods. I can use these skills in my future career when treating patients with different cultural backgrounds than me. I can be open to their practices and find ways to adapt to make them feel as comfortable as possible. During my time in Portugal, I think I accomplished quite a bit. I traveled to other parts of the country, I made a few local friends, and I participated in excursions that I had never done before, like stand paddleboarding. Making a friend was a personal goal I had for this trip, and I am proud I was able to do that. I believe I also accomplished a lot academically as well. My roommate and I audited about 15 parks across the Lisbon area. I also learned how to create a database, enter our data, and quantify it. Furthermore, I am very happy that I was able to study abroad and would recommend everyone to do it at least once. When I started college I didn’t think I would be able to fit studying abroad in my schedule because of classes and other reasons, but I’m so grateful I was able to. I believe this experience made me a better person and helped me develop skills I will use in the future.

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