Xiaoliuqiu, Taiwan
22.340415800000, 120.371514900000
Journal Entry:

Later this week, I'll be traveling to a small island offshore from Taiwan called Xiaoliuqiu (小琉球). I've been having weekly calls with an elementary school classroom there, and we share various aspects of our cultures and hometowns. After this trip, I will only have three weeks before I have to return to the U.S. I'm hoping to fit in some extra trips around the island as well as to create meaningful parting memories with my friends. The problem with studying abroad is that once you return home, it's very difficult to truly explain what the experience was like to your friends and family. They weren't there. They didn't see the sights you saw or experienced the life-changing moments that you felt. Only your friends abroad did. Once you're back home, it's very uncertain when you might see them next. 

However, this doesn't mean that you shouldn't go out and have an experience. Now that summer is here, go look for some programs to get out. Financial aid is becoming more and more abundant to help students take part in all kinds of experiences, including study abroad. Many of my friends took a gap year between high school and college through a program called NSLI-Y. It was a great way for them to celebrate graduating before beginning a new chapter at college. Just make sure to take probiotics beforehand!