Sunday, January 22, 2012

How This Journey Got Started

     So, here we go with post number one. Kind of.
     I love the states and all, but I have always wanted to study abroad. I have especially been pursuing it since January of this year, as I was told I would need to start pursuing this endeavour a year in advance.

     As an amateur photographer, I wanted to make sure that wherever I ended up was ridiculous amounts of gorgeous. I first looked at New Zealand. I mean let’s get real for a second… that’s where Lord of the Rings was filmed. Infinite amounts of God showing off right there. Ultimately, I just couldn’t handle that financially. As a result, I began looking into the UK. My first choice was in Edinburgh, Scotland; another incredibly gorgeous option. After focusing for 6+ months on Scotland and the UK as a whole, I found out that I got accepted, but not to the program I could afford. I was disappointed at first, but alas, there was hope!

      There was an exchange opening in the Austrian/German program, and I had three choices. I had to make the decision to 1)defer my placement in the UK and hope that I could make it into the program I wanted during the fall semester 2) Suck it up and pay a large amount of money to go to Edinburgh, Scotland this spring like I had originally planned, or 3) I could basically scrap the past six months of preparation and apply to a school in Hannover, Germany or Linz, Austria. As is the case for most people, money and time are essential resources. Consequently, I went with the option that balanced the two of those the best.

      In 36 hours, I had typed up a new application, and had it sent to Johannes Kepler Universität in Linz. Approximately ten days later (perhaps the longest ten days of my life, or so it seems) I got a call from our Study Abroad director here at school. I GOT IN! I literally jumped up and down like a crazy woman for fifteen minutes straight. I was so excited just to know that I would be going somewhere. Anywhere at all.

      As a general rule, I like to plan things out. In just a matter of days, I had undone the majority of the work I had done for the past six months. No longer was I going to live in a chilly, rainy, and green English speaking country. I was going to have to learn German. What? I know Danke Schoen… and Ferris Bueler is the only one I have to thank for that. I would be using Euro as currency rather than the British pound. I needed to change the cities on my weather app so that it no longer brought up Edinburgh, but Linz instead (you know… thats a pretty big deal.)

     “Crap! What did I get myself into!” I found myself thinking. And then it hit me, I got myself into something that will be really great for me. I am going to learn a new language. I will get to travel around Europe. I will get to study with students from Georgia, Chicago, Nebraska, Canada, Mexico, France, and other locations. How cool is that?

     Am I nervous about this? Absolutely. But I am excited even more-so. This will really help me learn, and expand the size of the little box I find myself staying in sometimes. As it stands, I have 103 days until I leave. I don’t expect myself to be fully ready by the time February 10th comes around, but I know for a fact I will be the most excited I’ve ever been about not knowing what my future holds.

      Here is to hoping I can be organized and calm about all of this, and that I have the time of my life.
[Originally posted October 31, 2011]

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