Bonne journée à tous,
 
 My name is James Karsten Messer—I go by Karsten—and I’m going to be studying abroad in the Fall of 2019 in Lorraine, France. Before I get into why I’m excited to go to GTL in the fall, I’m going to tell you a little bit about myself. First off, I do not speak French, but I will be taking a French class. I am nineteen years old—twenty by the time I’m abroad—and from Augusta, Georgia. I’m beginning my third year of mechanical engineering studies at Georgia Tech, the school I knew I wanted to go to since I was a sophomore in high school. I’m a part of Cru, a Christian organization on campus, I’ve played almost every intramural sport and made it to the school championship three times (though I’m yet to win), and I’m very into photography and racing, so I very much enjoy racing photography. Lastly, I’m very quiet and reserved, so doing this is a step out of my comfort zone—which is exactly why I’m doing it.
 
I decided to go to Georgia Tech Lorraine in Fall 2019 because I knew it was something that I wanted to do, but also knew that I couldn’t push it back anymore—it was now or never. I’m excited to go study abroad because I will get to see many places that I’ve always dreamed of, check events and places off of my bucket list, make friends that I more than likely wouldn’t have at the main campus all while continuing my studies and not falling behind. Some of the things I’m looking forward to checking off of my bucket list include seeing Real Madrid play in person, as well as going to other soccer—er, fútbol—matches, watching the Spa-Francorchamps Formula 1 race, and going to a Christkindlmarkt, a European Christmas Market.
 
I plan on taking you to every journey I go on, through words and pictures, as well as letting you know how easy, or difficult, it is to balance everyday school life in Metz with travelling across Europe and seeing some of the most famous places in the world. I hope you’re ready to come with me on what is sure to be the craziest adventure of my life so far—meeting new people and having familiar faces visit, touring new places, and managing my school life.