Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

Oh How Wonderful Bureaucracy is….

Howdy Folks!
Welcome to my inaugural blog post! Just a quick introduction: My name is Patrick Deniger and am a student at Colby College in Waterville, ME. Colby College prides itself on the high percentage of its students who study abroad. Around 2/3 of Colby students study abroad sometime during their college tenure. In two days (hopefully) I will begin my journey to Sydney, Australia to undergo my second semester abroad. I spent my very first semester of college (Fall ’13) studying in Salamanca, Spain though a Colby program for incoming first year students. It had such a positive impact on my life that ever since I returned from that trip, I’ve been looking forward to my next opportunity to study abroad. As much as I loved studying in Salamanca, I don’t consider myself a foreign language expert. So when I was deciding where I wanted to study during my Junior year, I knew I wanted to live in a english-speaking country. I felt I already lived the European experience in Spain, so I focused in on Australia. I’ve always wanted to travel down under and could not be more excited!!

Alright, enough of the small talk. If you noticed above, I mentioned how I am HOPING that I will depart for Sydney in two days. Unfortunately, I am experiencing difficulties acquiring my student visa. So, please forgive me, but I’m going to use this forum to vent for a bit. Alright, so this all started with the visa office requesting that I undergo a medical exam and complete a chest X-ray. Seemed reasonable, ideally if you’re going to allow someone into your country, you’d like them to not have some contagious disease. So, I called my doctor, scheduled an appointment and got everything tested. Everything checked out, so I sent in the forms to show I was examined. This was about a month ago, and my visa’s status still read “assessment underway”. So as my departure date came closer and closer, I started stressing. Turns out that I had to go to a specific “Australian approved” family medical clinic to have my tests done. They acted like this was common knowledge, so I rushed to get an appointment. I got one in the next day and again, passed all of the tests. NOW, the medical clinic says they cannot upload my results until some woman named Daisy is in office, furthering my frustration. Ugh. So the adventure of acquiring a student visa continues! Hopefully I get mine approved but will keep y’all updated! Thanks for letting me vent, I needed that.

But back to happy times! I have all my clothes packed up and, when not worrying about my visa, am super excited to get to Australia. It looks like New South Wales will be in an unprecedented cold front by the time we arrive. The temperatures look to be a historic low, 50 degrees Fahrenheit. I couldn’t help but laugh when I saw this. One, because even in Australia I can’t escape the Maine winters, it follows me everywhere! And two, that 50 degrees is considered a record low! I’m used to -10 being the typical winter temperature at Colby! So I’m bringing some of my winter gear that I was going to leave at home, but regardless, whether its sunny and 70 or snowing and 30 degrees I could not be more excited!! Sydney, I’m coming for you!!

Until next time,



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