It’s the Final Countdown

23 01 2013

7daysWell, today marks exactly one week until I am in a plane on my way to The Netherlands! It’s safe to say that pretty much everything in relation to preparations for studying abroad is COMPLETE! Cue the cheering on my part. I booked my hotel at the very pretty Hotel Mitland (my parents insisted on me not staying in a hostel) and the International Office at HU received my visa application! I’ve done a lot of shopping and only have a few more things to get, then all that will be left is the dreaded “What the heck am I packing??” debate. As of now, everything is in a nice pile on top of the suitcase. Progress!

It’s pretty nerve-racking to think that in a week, I’ll be leaving Tennessee and the United States for five months. I’m going on the adventure of a lifetime! How many people can say they saw the world before they were 20 years old? I am so thankful and blessed to say that I am one of them. I am really thankful to everyone who has helped me in any way to get to this point! All the people who comforted me, encouraged me, listened to my complaining and assisted me in any way they could: you all helped give me the strength to take this journey. After months and months of planning, I am ready ( and it feels SO GOOD).

Only seven days to go!


Unlucky Number Thirteen

17 01 2013

14daysYesterday, I passed the two-week mark on the quickly lowering countdown until I depart for Utrecht! That makes today unlucky number thirteen in the countdown. I’m hoping nothing goes terribly wrong in the next few hours!
Today, my mom and I went to the bank and wired the 800 euros to HU for my visa and health insurance! (Kind of last minute, huh?) Although, my confusion was well justified between the mixed messages I was getting from UT’s Programs Abroad office and the HU International Office. However, it finally got done and my mom is mailing the application today! One less thing for me to worry about in the grand scheme of things.
I still need to book my hotel and email about orientation day procedures, but all in all, the list is slowly getting smaller! And I am so glad!
I think today I will make a Pre-Departure advice video with all the things I have learned in this four month process. There is definitely a lot of things to talk about!

P.S. – One of my fellow classmates is already over there! She’s from Canada and I’ve been reading about her travels over there. Definitely worth a read!
Check it out!!

This Is Brand New Information!

12 01 2013

rosterJust a quick update on the many things I have learned in the past couple of days!
First and foremost, the roster! I had been worried for quite some time because I wasn’t receiving ANY information from the EC&EJ program nor HU’s International Office. After discussing it on our Facebook Page and emailing our program coordinator, I realized they had forgotten my name on the email list! Luckily, the coordinator sent me all the materials I had missed (including the roster that you see as well as a rough syllabus!).
Big surprise, I’m the only person from America! I’m kind of scared about this, but I am also excited about this because it’s going to force me to step outside my comfort zone and interact with the other students! Counting America, eight countries are represented! We also (finally!) received our international orientation schedule; it showed I should have more than enough time to move into my apartment after orientation (four hours)!

In addition to this information, one of my neighbors found me on the SSH Short Stay page and answered some of my panicked questions about my future home! Here are some tidbits to accompany the photos you can see here.

  • Big kitchen shared with 10 people
  • Two bathrooms and two showers for 10 people to share
  • From our windows, you see the boxes to park the bikes, the road and the trains
  • We have a little balcony
  • The sun is in our room all day long
  • We have a washing machine, but no dryer

I’m really excited to see my new apartment! (Although not too excited to not have a dryer!) I guess I’ll just have to make it work!

P.s. – I have a window seat for my 9 hour flight!

Twenty Days To Go!

10 01 2013

21daysWell, yesterday I passed the three week countdown until my departure for the Netherlands! My time in the States seems to be quickly dwindling down. And there is still so much to do!
After mucho stress about my student visa (there was quite a bit of confusion between me and HU’s international office), I think I am almost done with it and ready for it to be submitted! Now, whether or not it will be accepted or not is another story – a story I do not want to deal with!

The good news is the list of preparatory things I need to do is getting smaller and smaller! As of now, I need to do my FAFSA (or start on it), do my UT Scholarship Application and figure out housing and classes for next semester (Notice how all these things are in prep for next semester??). Now, as for things that actually relate to Holland, packing, shopping, submit visa, book hotel, get scholarship money and try and not flip out too many more times before departure! I’m absolutely sure there are more things that I am forgetting. But that’s a pretty good summary of the way it is going at the moment!

P.S. – Did you know your first checked bag flying to Europe with Delta is free? Well, now you do!