Saturday, August 29, 2009

Am I there yet?

Hey all,
I'm writing to you from, unfortunately, still my house in NJ. My long-awaited but too soon departure date is this Tuesday and, while I've gone through the up's and downs of excitement, fear, and everything in between, I just want to go already! Many of my other friends who are studying aborad this semester have already left and are having AMAZING times, which alleviates a lot of my stree and worry and just builds on my excitement. I've been doing reading and research all about Florence and other places I want to go, and now I'm ready to ship out.

Of course, I did have to pack before I left. That was fun. In just about every piece of literature we get for study abroad we are countlessly reminded to PACK LIGHT, PACK LIGHT, PACK LIGHT. Though I'm not really the best at this (I ended up with 30 pairs of pants at the conclusion of freshman year) I do think I've done a good job. I've got all I need packing into 1 large suitcase and 1 medium suitcase, plus a backpack, though there are a few things I've forgotten that will have to get put in there somewhere. As for things I plan to buy while I'm away? I can either ship them home or send them back with my family, as they plan to visit at the end of November.

Moving to that, they're not only visiting me because of the Thanksgiving Holiday (it's not celebrated in Italy anyway, so I'll have class). They're also coming to watch me run in the Florence Marathon. I'm officially registered as of today and have the information I need to go for runs while I'm away. I know it sounds crazy to commit to a marathon while going abroad, but I thought it was one of the best ways to stay in shape for swimming, have fun, not get fat, and immediately immerse myself in the city and it's surroundings. The marathon course is gorgeous and runs past many of Florence's biggest monuments. No worries, I'll keep you updated with more than enough information about how that's going. Plus I can't wait to start taking and posting pictures and video from Italy.

So, this might be my last post before I arrive, unless I can figure something out during my 5 hour layover in Germany. Either way, check back soon to hear how my first week is going. I'm so excited and hope everyone moving in this weekend has a great time. Good luck with the first week of classes, especially to the class of 2013!


Monday, August 24, 2009

you gotta hear this one song...

Hello all,
So I've been very busy lately with all I need to have ready for study abroad and with work still going on. I'll update more on some specifics when I have more time, but I recently came across a song that really reminded me of study abroad and the whole experience of leaving, being there, and coming back (even though I haven't done it all yet). I thought I'd post the lyrics and that they'd be interesting for everyone to take a look at. The song is The Call by Regina Spektor.

It started out as a feeling, which then grew into a hope,
which then grew into a quiet thought which then grew into a quiet word.
And then that word grew louder and louder, until it was a battle cry,
I'll come back when you call me, no need to say goodbye.

Just because everything's changing doesn't mean it's never been this way before.
All you can do is try to know who your friends are as you head off to the war.
Pick a star on the dark horizon and follow the light
You'll come back when it's over, no need to say goodbye.

Now we're back to the beginning, it's just a feeling and noone knows yet
But just because they can't feel it too doesn't mean that you have to forget
Let your memories grow stronger and stronger, until they're before your eyes
You'll come back when they call you, no need to say goodbye.

Anyway I thought that was sort of interesting considering my leaving in 8 days for Italy! I'll check back probably before the week is out with how packing and preparing are going. Bye!


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Explore. Dream. Discover.

Hey readers,

So yesterday I received my most recent orientation packet for my trip to Italy. It contained all the good stuff I’ve been waiting for, including orientation and semester schedule information, where I’m living, packing lists, and my roommates! I’m so excited to have all of this information and can’t believe I only have 20 days left until I leave. Before this packet, I received another one that sparked a post idea. On the inside cover are some great quotes about going out and exploring the world (including the entire quote by Mark Twain referenced in my title) and about how great study abroad really is, and then there are questions to answer before we leave, and I though that they would be great to talk about.

What are you looking forward too?
What am I NOT looking forward to!?! I’m so excited to travel to Italy, a place I’ve always wanted to go. I can’t wait to better my Italian, take new and interesting classes, meet new people, and travel, travel, travel. I’m already trying to pick all the places I want to go and when. I’m also looking forward to the unknown and the new and exciting.

What are your fears?
I think I’m afraid of a lot of things about going abroad. New people, new language, and a new place I’ve never been. But my fears are a lot of the same things I’m looking forward to as well. I think I just need to incorporate my excitement to cancel out the fear. I’m afraid of being without my family and friends, and the comfort of SMC, but I know I’ll learn to adapt and be fine. I’m more excited than afraid, but that changes a lot.

What is the farthest you’ve been from home?
Technically the farthest I’ve been from home is the Caribbean but that was with my family. SMC is the farthest I’ve been without my parents, so Italy is quite a ways away, and quite a time difference (7 hours ahead in Italy).

How do you think you will change after this adventure?
I’m not sure how I will change, but I know I’ll come back with a different view on life, culture, and the rest of the world. I think all my changes will be good ones and will help me grow into an adult and stuff, but we’ll just have to wait and see.

So that’s all from the “passport to Italy” packet. Keep checking back as the departure date (September 1st) gets closer and I get more and more excited/scared to go abroad. Oh and shout out to Meg.