This past week will go down in the books as a week of trial and tribulations. Studying abroad is truly an amazing experience, but it would be dishonest to not mention the difficulties and hardship which accompany the experience.
The week started with a couple coughs and a sneeze here and there, which quickly progressed into something much more serve. After a couple days of misery, I decided to go to the doctor. Sinus infection was the diagnoses, and a week of antibiotics was the cure. So far, my sinuses are slowly clearing up. I am still very sick, but in a much better state. While dealing with my sickness this week, I also had to deal with a much more serious matter: immigration. In Ireland, student visas are not required or permitted because the country uses a different system to keep track of visiting persons. Therefore, all visiting students have to register with Ireland’s immigration bureau. The amount of time given to figure out all immigration matters depends on the date stamp your port of entry (airport security) gives you on your passport. I was only given until February 11th, while others were given until the end of April. Normally the date in which you are given to get all immigration matters dealt with isn’t that big of a deal, but in order to register with immigration, you also have to set up an Irish bank account and this is where my issue arises. In the U.S. setting up a bank account takes a few minutes, but in Ireland it takes weeks. My bank account took almost three weeks to open. To transfer money from the United States into an Irish bank account can also take up to a week. It sounds like a long process, and if you are on a timed schedule there is no room for mishaps. Well, this week was where the mishap happened for me. My money wouldn’t transfer internationally for some reason, so by the end of the week, and by the time I needed to register for immigration, my bank account wasn’t ready. On Wednesday the freak out session ensued. I didn’t know what to do or who to talk to about my dilemma. Once I calmed down a bit, I called my mom who then was able to get a hold of our study abroad office at UMKC. While she was doing that, I was getting a hold of my Irish bank. After much discussion with all sorts of different offices, and persons more qualified to deal with this sort of situation, I began my registration. I am currently on a watch list in Ireland, since my bank account still isn’t ready, but once it is all finished and dealt with, I can finish my registration and go about my study abroad experience with ease.
This week was a long, sickly, and stressful week. Not every part of study abroad is perfect, wonderful, and fun. There are parts that suck, for lack of a better word. Regardless of that, I am still so glad I am doing what I am doing. Life is not an easy endeavor and to expect studying abroad to be any different would be naive, because though it can be seen as a form of a vacation, it is still life, even life that includes hiccups, and mishaps. But with that, life includes fun times, happiness, and adventure which is definitely a part of the study abroad experience as well.
I am now in the part of the week which some say is made for relaxing: the weekend. And after this week I am definitely going to take the weekend to do just that, relax. I think I started my relaxing weekend off well though. I went to a Rugby game! I love rugby, so it was most certainly a treat for me. Plus, Munster won (which is good).