Preparing to leave the country for an entire semester is no small feat. Whether it’s the 32 pages of forms I had to filled out, the flight reservations, application essays, or packing lists, it keeps you busy. However, the other students studying abroad this coming semester and I were able to manage all of that, have questions answered, and bounce ideas off of one another by meeting regularly as a group throughout the fall semester with our study abroad director, Kathy Simon.
I left Transy last semester with a loaded down car and an empty dorm room. The process for studying abroad started back in December 2013, when I first met with Ms. Simon. She showed me all of the options, walked me through financing, class credit transfers, etc. On that day, it seemed like I’d never actually leave, but on the last day of classes of the fall semester of 2014, it could not have felt more real.
I’ve spent my winter break getting together with people I may not get the chance to see again before leaving, getting to know my future host family, reconnecting with my old one from a program in high school, and finalizing my plans. Amongst all of the paper work and planning, however, there is one exciting thing: studying in France requires going to the French consulate in Chicago to obtain a student visa. Going abroad will not only enhance my French language skills, build new connections abroad, and widen my knowledge of world cultures, but it also “forced” me to take a weekend trip to one of my favorite cities! I decided to make a little trip out of it and take some friends along, one of whom is also traveling to get her visa.
One of the reasons I chose Transylvania was because it has amazing study abroad opportunities. We have relationships with institutions all over the world. Even if you want to go somewhere that we don’t have a formal relationship with, we can usually make it work. Moreover, study abroad at Transylvania really is affordable. You can’t just look at the “sticker price” of a program because there are all kinds of opportunities to earn scholarships, apply your previously awarded scholarships to the cost, and more.
I fly out today (January 12th), luckily after everyone returned to campus, so I was able to drop by to say goodbye. I will continue blogging from France, sharing my photos and new experiences. It has been an adventure getting ready, and I’m ready for the real adventure to begin!
If you want to check out our Study Abroad Office’s website, go here: http://www.transy.edu/programs/study_abroad/
If you want to see the specific program that I am doing, go here: http://www.kiis.org/go/France.php