Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wish List Wednesday

I can't cross any of the material things off of last week's wish list, but I can cross off number one: having an amazing weekend with Tom in Columbia and number five: getting all of my homework done.  Number five was only temporary because, now that I'm home, I have the next week and a half to finish up both courses, but I'm not stressed.  It makes me happy that I accomplished the two important things on my list, rather than just buying something.  Ahhh, satisfaction.

I decided to shake things up a little bit this week and do a somewhat unorthodox wish list.  I want to focus on one desire of mine that has been on my mind a lot lately.

I want to study abroad.

I know I've mentioned it before, but I've given it a lot of thought and it is something I want to do more than I can express.  I'm at a point in my life where I can change myself, experience new things, and make the most of opportunities.  I want to do something extraordinary.  I want to have an adventure.  I want to see the world.  What better way to do this than to spend time in a foreign country?  When will I be able to pack up and leave for an extended amount of time at any point in my life other than now?  Never.  After graduation, I won't be able to go somewhere and stay for a month.  A family and a job will prevent that, which is fine.  That's what supposed to happen after graduation, but college is about learning new things and making the most of the opportunities that are available.

I don't want to study abroad for an entire semester.  That's a long time to be away from home, especially in a foreign place, and I don't want to delay my graduation.  I would love to go on a program for a month or two over the Summer.  Next Summer is really the only opportunity I have because I am most likely graduating a semester early.  Although I have an infinite list of places I want to travel to, I would probably study in London or somewhere else in England, mostly because I am an English major.  I love British literature and I think studying in London would be the most interesting and beneficial to my education.  That being said, I would definitely use every opportunity to "country-hop" whenever possible.  I want to go to Paris, pretty much everywhere in Italy, Barcelona, and a million other places that I have heard are just a train ride away.  The thought of living and exploring in an unknown country for a month is so exciting and exhilarating. 

I do know that I probably do not want to do some kind of exchange program and live with a family while I am abroad.  I don't know the details of the different kinds of programs, but if possible, I would want to travel with a group of students and live in some kind of apartment/dormitory with them.  I have friends that have studied abroad and they have done things similar to this.  I just think that it would be a better match for me.  Honestly, if it came down to it and the only way I could go was if I lived with a family, I would do it in a heartbeat with no complaints.

Like I said, I have several friends who have studied abroad and several that are currently away or anticipating their departure for this upcoming Fall semester.  My friends Anna and Maggie both recently got back from their Summers abroad and loved every second of it.  I have other friends who were gone all Summer and I know people who have gone for entire semesters.  My good friend Emily is getting ready to leave for Spain in a few weeks and will be gone until December.  I am incredibly jealous!  What a wonderful experience to have now and what wonderful memories to have later!  If you have studied abroad, maybe you can answer a few questions about where you went, what kind of program it was, how long you were there for, what your experience was like, what you would/wouldn't recommend, etc.  I want to know everything!  Please share your experience with me!

At this point, I've done all I can do.  I check the UNT Study Abroad website frequently and I have contacted the Global Learning office asking for more information and trying to find out when the information for next Summer's programs will be updated, but I haven't heard from them yet.  I'll probably have to wait until school starts to get more information.  I might make an appointment with an advisor just to see what my options are.

I know, if this happens, it won't be for another year or so, but I am so excited about the possibility.  I hope more than anything that this works out and that I will be able to fulfill my dream of studying abroad.  I just feel like I am ready to have this experience.  I want to do something that allows me to be independent, do something unknown, and see the world.  Cross your fingers for me and I'll keep you posted!

More to come,

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