Pre-Departure Part 2: From the Chateau de St. Albain
The final countdown has begun, and an even larger process has ended: the logistics of studying abroad. This week I completed what I believe to be all of the necessary paperwork and purchased my train ticket to England. In twenty days I will be traveling through the Chunnel aboard a Eurostar train, which will take me into the heart of London for my orientation with Butler.
Am I nervous? You bet. But I am also extremely excited. This week I received an email from my Shakespeare tutor at Oxford, Lizzie. The syllabus looks intimidating, but this is why I gave myself the month of September in the French countryside. I have 20 days to read plays without interruption. The really exciting thing about studying at Oxford is that I will only have two tutorials to work on during the term. I am a very detail oriented person, and to know that my time will only be divided between two major bodies of work instead of the standard 5 or 6 is enormously relieving. This week I also corresponded with my adviser at Capital about my senior thesis in English literature. While I have not figured out all of the details yet, it looks like my senior thesis, which represents one of my major hurdles before graduation, will also be completed over the next 3 months. If there is one thing I have learned while traveling is that it always pays to be thinking about what happens next.
This week I also spent some time hunting around online to find the building that I will be residing in while I am at Oxford. It looks amazing. It should be near St. Edmunds campus, but still a bit of a walk. However, as I was looking at images on Google Earth, I realized that a bit of a walk might not be such a bad thing. Oxford may be the most beautiful college town on the planet. Even from the satellite images, it was possible to imagine the open greens, Gothic towers, and rivers. Maybe I am still in the honeymoon stage, but I really think that I am going to love going to school in Oxford.
Packing: My goal in packing is to have as much empty space as possible. I know it is probably cheaper to purchase things before arriving, but I think having the empty space goal is a good way to keep the bags manageable. While money isn’t easier to come by, it is easier to carry than luggage.
And now back to Shakespeare.