Welcome fellow friends, family and even strangers! Where to even begin? This is my first time blogging but I am really looking forward to using this as my journal and keeping friends and family up to date on my future adventures as well as hoping to inspire others traveling in Europe and some of what studying abroad for a semester may entail. I sure have learned a lot along the way but the few things that have helped me the most are the people I talk to and the research I have done. I want to give a special shout out to Robbin Gheesling, Sheradin Fabrizius and Ann Burger for putting up with my never ending questions 🙂 and helping spread the knowledge! I only hope to do the same.
The countdown has begun, actually it began a year ago, but we are now down to a mere 24 days until departure! YIKES. Still seems so unreal I have chosen to do something like moving to Paris for 5 months to study. Dream come true? I think yes! Minus the whole “studying” part. Ha just kidding Ann Burger 🙂 The recent question of the month seems to be “Are you excited?” Well let me just put this into perspective, how would you feel? Honestly I feel a whole lot of everything, from excitement to nervous but surprisingly not scared. As most of you know I am a pretty independent soul and this kind of change is right up my alley. I must say this is pretty much the biggest change I have yet to encounter though. Maybe my desire for the adventure is the Sagittarius in me!
This process started about a year ago when I first stumbled upon the opportunity to study abroad at my hometown college, Wichita State University. Immediately I looked into attending a Study Abroad session with Ann Burger and found myself there a couple weeks later. From day 1 Paris jumped out at me. Before, I had never really had a set dream to visit Paris but I mean what girl would not want to visit the City of Love? This was the point of no turning back. Once I set my mind to something I make it happen. Again the Sagittarius in me hehe. For the next few months I researched and researched studying abroad, Paris, the process to do so and so on. Ann Burger is my study abroad advisor, and a great mentor at that, and she has helped guide me the past few months through the longggg, confusing process. As well as Sheradin who actually spent this last Fall semester (2013) over in Paris from Wichita State. Ann gave me Sheradin’s contact and blog information and that is where our friendship began! I was an avid reader of her blog just dreaming of the time I would have my chance to be there. The more I researched Paris, the more I fell in love.
For anyone who has studied abroad you know it is not all a walk in the park. From getting your passport (if you do not already have one) to visiting the Consulate to apply for the Visa plus the never ending paperwork, I have spent the last few months making sure all of that was up to par. Needless to say there are not step by step directions for any of this unless you are fluent in French Most of you are probably wondering if you are not fluent in French how or why are you even doing this? Well through the direct business exchange all of my classes will be offered at ESCE in Paris in English. Since I decided to take this leap a year ago though I have taken 2 French courses at WSU in the last year. By NO means am I anywhere near fluent but since French is not required for this exchange program I decided long ago that learning as much French culture as possible is exactly what will make this adventure that much more intriguing. French is such a beautiful language but not the easiest to learn I must say!
With only 3 weeks and 3 days until I depart, I have been focusing on all the last minute to dos such as: travel abroad doctor visit, making sure I have enough vitamins and/or prescriptions and hair/body/makeup products to last, getting all the documents needed together (and enough copies to take with as well as leave some with my parents), making sure everything 4700 miles away is finalized, gathering last minute information on packing, saving that $$, and the bon voyage parties with family and friends!
So the answer to the question above “Are you excited?” is a H*@# yes!
À bientôt (Talk to/See you soon)