I’m sure many students have had thoughts on studying abroad, and those who do decide to participate in their own cultural experiment cannot wait to take off for their adventure; but the study abroad experience begins months before that international flight leaves the ground.
I began my preparations over a year ago when I obtained a job to help pay for my forthcoming travel. I threw myself into extensive research on various programs: what classes I could take, costs, where I could travel, and what would interest me the most; and on the way I have made new friends, taken on more responsibility for my education, completed the laborious work of three applications for one program, made travel arrangements, secured housing, attained a scholarship, and procured a visa. Through all of this the question I have been asked the most by my friends and family is “Are you nervous?” The answer: no. Even though I leave in three days to spend a year in Scotland everything feels surreal. When I first applied my excitement was uncontainable, I was like a child on a sugar high, but as the date for leaving has approached the excitement I have has set to simmering deep inside. Maybe my excitement will blast out of me when I reach the airport, get on the plane, or finally set foot in Scotland, but one thing is for certain, my months of preparation make me confident that I am ready for my school year at the University of Edinburgh. Plus I have packed four times.
Helpful Tip: If you have even the slightest inclination to study abroad look into it now and begin preparations. It is never too early to start, but if you wait too long you could miss out on an adventure of a lifetime.