Two years ago I sought friendship through an online pen pal website for people interested in learning other languages. I had been studying French on my computer for several years, and thought it would be more fun if I could talk with someone in French and we could learn from each other. Not long later, I met my dear friend Rob, who lives in England.
Our friendship grew, and Rob and I talked about meeting in person someday. I didn’t know how I would ever be able to afford it. We both still wanted to meet, but realized it would likely never happen.
This spring, my mentor at my community college told me about a study abroad trip his wife was organizing, which would tour Edinburgh, Scotland, London, England, and Paris, France. I had wanted to visit Europe for many years, but since meeting Rob online, my desire to go had only grown. I looked at the study abroad website that night, saw how fun everything looked, and also saw the $2,700 price tag. I thought it would be fun and I felt the fun, but didn’t know how in the world I would be able to afford it, as I was jobless and going to college full-time.
The very next day I got a phone call from the financial aid office at my college saying that they had just received a large sum of money from the government, and that they would be distributing it to 75 students based on financial need and academic merit. I was the first person they called. All of my tuition had already been paid for the year, so two weeks later they deposited $2,700 into my personal bank account; the exact amount I had wished for to go on my trip!
Two months later I took a plane to Edinburgh, Scotland, explored for two days, then took the train down to King’s Cross Station in London, where Rob was waiting for me. It was the most unexpected and magical week of my life.