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

Excitement! Nervousness! I don’t know what to title my pre-departure post!

Written Thursday, September 15th, 2011: 11:45 pm


I suppose as I am leaving in a mere two and a half days, now is the time for me to write a pre-departure blog post and get the proverbial ball rolling!


Hello! For anyone reading this who does not know me personally (Hi, Mom & Dad!), I’m currently 21 years old and a senior Classics major at Gettysburg College, which you may have missed (or not) over in the left side-bar of this page. I really wanted to write a blog for IFSA Butler not only to document my own journey, but hopefully to give anyone interested in studying abroad, particularly in Wales, a real idea of what it’s like to attend Cardiff University and live in Wales as an IFSA Butler study abroad student. I stalked read a number of study abroad blogs when I was planning my semester abroad, but found many of them disappointing because I wanted to know so much and they shared much less than I expected. Perhaps I will have to eat my words later when I discover that I am much busier/distracted than anticipated, but right now I plan to post blog entries as often as I can once I have reliable internet access.


And now, on to the pre-departure thoughts of the evening– 


It’s been a very disjointed few weeks leading up to departure. I feel as though I’ve been in an odd sort of limbo because all my friends are at school working away, my job ended in August, and I’ve just been in in-between land! Not at school, not working, not yet finished with my undergraduate career…so it’s nice to feel as though I have some purpose again in going to school soon, but at the same time I feel oddly disconnected from what is going on. I remember writing a blog post ages ago back at the beginning of February when I was just starting my study abroad applications about how much I wanted to go to Cardiff and how exciting it all was to think about it, but I really am having a hard time digesting the fact that it is here! I’m going! I suppose it will all hit me on Sunday afternoon when I am at the airport…


…most likely when I am attempting to navigate the security line and manage the bins I will have to fill with my carry-on bag, laptop, boots, and my long wool coat (I don’t want to waste space in my checked luggage packing them!) whilst feeling rushed and trying not to hold the line up too much. Oh, the joys of air travel.


Until next time!


*UPDATE: Sunday September 18, 2011: 12:24am* 


Well, nearly everything is packed, and many thanks to my mother, who rather expertly manage to fit all my things in my case, whilst I generally stood next to it moaning, “Oh, I don’t think this will all fit. How can this possibly all fit in there? You know, that suitcase looks a lot bigger from the outside…“. I have ended up requiring two suitcases, one big one and one medium sized one. I have just accepted the fact that “pack light” isn’t really in my personal vocabulary and excess baggage fees will just be a part of my life. Granted, the bags are maybe 55lbs total; so theoretically I probably could’ve gotten away with one really big 50lb suitcase, as that’s the weight limit, but I thought it would be too difficult to manage a single suitcase with that much stuff in it. I certainly could have packed much more than I did; the problem I’ve run into really is, of course, the fact that the fall and winter generally involve tricky seasonal transitions clothes-wise; this is made doubly difficult when one is traveling to a foreign country and unsure of the weather.

We’ll see how it goes–I am fully aware that I may encounter staircases and need to lug my bags up and down, but I will do so for the sake of my horseback riding apparel and various types of shoes!


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