Predeparture – 72 hours
It’s the summer of 2011 all over again. I have conflicting emotions about my upcoming adventure. I faced feelings of regret. The closer the day came the more I kicked myself for deciding I needed to take such a big step. The more preparations I made, the more nervousness that set in. I did not know it then, but leaving home for college would be one of the best choices I made for myself. Now during the winter of 2014, as I face similar feelings, I hold on to the knowledge that 5 months from now I will be thanking myself for making another great life choice.
The closer I get to my departure day, the more I realize what is actually happening to me. I am leaving my culture and embracing another for 5 months. I will speak a different language every day! How will I possibly do this? I know that other people have done this but does that mean that I can? How will I behave? Will I be able to make friends? Will I like my host family? And to make matters worse, New York has a snowstorm hanging above it, ready to doom all flights. Currently, some of this fury is set to be unleashed on the day that I should be flying to Costa Rica, what if my flight gets delayed?
Luckily, IFSA-Butler has been able to calm my nerves. Yesterday, as I tried to begin organizing some of my things, I started to feel like I didn’t know where to start. When all of a sudden, as if she knew what I was thinking, my mother appeared with a packet that she forgot to give me. It was a Packet from IFSA that contained a Preparing to Study Abroad booklet, it is exactly what I needed. The book has become my survival guide. Reading it, has put me at ease, with what to pack, what not to forget, and tips on living with your host family along with many other things. You name it, IFSA thought of it. I’m happy to be studying abroad with a program that provides enough support.
IFSA-Butler has also been helpful with calming my parent’s nerves. My mother worries like it is a profession. Her main concern is my safety but it is comforting for her to know that our homes will be located in safe neighborhoods and that we are not alone in Costa Rica. There is an IFSA office ready to offer support if I so need. In addition, living with a host family will make living in a foreign country easier, especially since they have first hand experience on life in that country.
Getting ready to study abroad, there is a lot of worrying that is done but there’s also an equal amount of excitement! Hopefully the snow will allow me to get to Costa Rica on schedule and soak up some sun and adventure. Stay tuned for less worrisome blog posts and adventures!