Prized possessions

By Johnny Andrews, University Communications

Leaving home for the first time to go to college is never a breeze, but sentimental items from home can help ease that transition.

For many of the first-year students who began their Carolina experience with a fall semester in Granada, Spain, as part of Carolina Global Launch, those prized possessions were particularly meaningful while adapting to living in a new country. Whether it was a family heirloom or a specific outfit, the Tar Heels brought a piece of home with them abroad.

Keep reading to learn what they packed for their semester in Spain.

A woman hugs a teddy bear.

Emily Bowers
“My friends and I made Build-A-Bears before we left for college. I wanted a piece of them with me and also something to snuggle with to help me fall asleep.”

A woman in cowboy boots.

Ava Shick
"I brought my cowboy boots because wearing fun clothes is a big part of my personal expression, and they were just too precious to leave behind even though they didn’t fit in my suitcase. I had to wear them on the plane because they had to come over here with me. It is a little bit of a piece of home and I feel cool wearing them.”

A student with a blue shirt with

Ishan Bheda
“It’s a ‘Frozen’ shirt, and it’s a movie that completely changed my life when I saw it at 8 years old. It’s amazing — one of the best Disney movies ever made. I saw this shirt at a Goodwill and knew this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I just had to jump at the chance to get it before some other like-minded individual nabbed it before I did.”

A woman holds a photo of her and her mother.

Valentina Fernandez Escalona
“I picked this picture of me and my mom because my mom is the most important role model I have in my life. She pushed me to try new things and go out and travel. She encouraged me to pick Carolina Global Launch in Granada, so I’m really thankful for her. I just have this picture with me to remind me of her and to look at it when I really miss her.”

A man holds a pillow.

Kirk Sanders
“I brought my pillow because I knew it could be the one thing that would remind me of home when I’m out. I’ve had this pillow for at least six years.”

A woman holds a photo of her and her grandmother and a handwritten letter.

Elena Vierengel
“I brought a photocopy of the last written card I got from my grandma before she unexpectedly passed. She’s always been a really strong woman and role model in my life. On the hard days, it’s helpful to know she’s with me and that I can push through.”

A man in a unc sweatshirt.

Chris Kim
“Embroidery is a hobby of mine, so I actually made this [sweatshirt] myself. I just thought it would be nice to bring a small part of myself here to Spain. I couldn’t bring the embroidery setup and the machine and stuff, but I could bring one of my creations. I thought it would be fitting to combine my future school with my hobby into one product like this.”

A woman wears a necklace.

Libby Gascoigne
“It’s my great grandma’s necklace. It’s about 200 years old and it’s been in our family forever. I just love the way that it looks, and it’s just a soft reminder of home and of the people who have brought me here.”