During my second semester of college at the University of Oklahoma, I made a decision that has since changed my life for the better. I decided to take a leap of faith (a huge leap of faith) and commit to studying abroad in Seville, Spain, for my second semester of junior year. I wanted to go to improve my Spanish since I am a Spanish minor, to learn more about Spanish culture and to grow in my personal life as well. I went knowing that I would be almost 5,000 miles away from my family and friends. This meant a fresh start and going overseas for the first time with only me, myself and I. What a scary thought, right?

Two weeks before I left for Spain, I found out I was going to live in a homestay and have a roommate that was also from the United States, but from a different state. I knew two things about her: her name was Alyson and she attended the University of Tampa. I worry about literally everything under the sun, so the worry set in. How was I going to live with a random stranger? What if she was crazy? What if she didn’t like me?

Finally the day came, I arrived in Madrid, Spain, where my study abroad program was set to begin. I was already anxious about being in a brand new country, but then I remembered that I was also about to meet my roommate for the very first time. I had done the typical girl move of stalking her on Facebook and Instagram, but I was not sure I would recognize her. I was terrified, and I anxiously awaited meeting her at our hotel in Madrid.

The time came and I heard one of the program directors call my name for the hotel room key along with Alyson. This was the moment! I finally met the girl that I would be living with in Spain for more than three months. Much to my surprise, we kicked it off and instantly clicked from the start. It was daily tapas and wine together from that moment forward.

We are now into the last month of our study abroad program. These last two months, Aly has become such a great friend to me. We have traveled all around Spain together from northern Barcelona to our little home away from home in southern Seville. We have laughed until we have cried at making sense of this new life in Spain. We have celebrated my 21st birthday together, which she made sure was absolutely perfect from a surprise cooking class in Barcelona to a birthday cake in a cute little travel bar. We have wandered around the city together (thank goodness she has a better sense of direction than I do). We have had countless wine nights while watching Netflix in our cozy little room. We have upcoming trips to London and Paris together planned. We even plan to go visit each other in our perspective states of Florida and Oklahoma when our program ends and our time as roommates comes to an end.

In this short time I have known Aly, she has already become such a great friend to me. She will always be my Spanish sister. I am not looking forward to leaving this beautiful country in May, but I am thankful that I know this trip has brought me a forever friend.