My daughter has been given an AMAZING opportunity this semester. Kayla attends ACM@UCO, a branch of the University of Central Oklahoma, and for the first time this semester they offered the chance for their students to study abroad at the original ACM that her school was modeled after. She jumped on this opportunity and, by the grace of God, everything fell into place for her to go. She left on December 30th and has had so many adventures since that day!
She has a blog and has been trying to update it as she’s able – not only does she have to find the time to sit down and write about all that she’s doing, she has to find free wifi so that she can get online and publish it! Unfortunately she doesn’t have wifi in her room so it can be a little challenging sometimes.
She got to go to Scotland for a long weekend not too long after getting to England. She loved that trip and wrote about it here, here, and here. They celebrated Chinese New Year in London and enjoyed that as well.
But the most amazing thing (to me anyway) that she’s been able to do so far is go to The Netherlands to visit the place of her roots on her dad’s side of the family. My mother-in-law was born in Holland and lived in The Hague when she was a little girl. She and several of her siblings have told us some of the most amazing stories of what it was like in the early 1940s in Holland. Living in Europe during WWII was a very scary time and they went through so much! I’ll save more stories about that for another post on another day though.
Anyway, Kayla and three of her classmates traveled to Amsterdam for another long weekend and while she was there she rode a train out to The Hague all by herself so that she could see the house where her grandmother’s family lived. Her dad and her grandma both told her that she should knock on the door and introduce herself and that they would probably invite her in. She was a little hesitant to do that (as she describes in her post) but decided she’d come this far so why not! She did and was so thankful that she did! She got to see inside the whole house! We were all so excited to hear that she got to do that! Her grandma in particular was so excited!
Her daddy and I are just in awe of all that she’s getting to do and so very proud of what she’s accomplishing while she’s there. As a 21-year-old girl, I don’t know if I would have had the courage to do all that she’s doing and travel to all of these places – some of them by herself because the others haven’t had the interest! She has been to some incredible museums, historical landmarks, and lots of the places that every tourist wants to see. It’s just incredible to me what she’s been able to do!
She is going to have some amazing memories that will last her a lifetime and I’m so thankful for several reasons that this has even been possible:
- God’s blessing on this trip – when things fall together as quickly and simply as they did for her to be able to do this, it’s nothing short of a blessing from the Lord and we are so thankful.
- A full academic scholarship that has made it possible for her to go to school without incurring huge student loans every semester. This scholarship covered the tuition for studying abroad as well so she only needed money for living expenses – not any school expenses.
- Qualifying for a student loan that covered the cost of her living expenses in England.
- Earning a study abroad scholarship to add to the money she was able to take with her, helping her have enough in her budget to do extra things.
- A good tax refund after having a good amount of taxes deducted from her paycheck each week which allowed her to book other trips around Europe.
- Generous family members who have given us money to put in her account several times since she left giving her extra spending money on her trips.
- A great boss who has held her job for her so that she can walk right back into that as soon as she gets home so that she’s making money again and able to pay off her loan.
- A good friend/classmate who also wanted to go on this trip who was able to travel with her and has gone on some of the trips with her. I think she feels better with her by her side. 😉
- A larger group of classmates and friends who are also there so that she doesn’t have to feel all alone in a foreign country – there is always somebody from home around if she needs them.
Her adventures are continuing this week as well as a few of them leave for Paris today! They have spring break at school and a few of them are going to Paris and then the whole group is meeting up in Barcelona after that. I’m so excited for her but I’m always a little nervous while she’s out in other countries! I just keep praying fervently and rest a little easier when she gets back “home” to Guildford, England. 🙂