There are only 17 days left until I leave for South Africa. I’m currently going through a mixture of emotions. I am definitely excited but I am also nervous to be away from my friends and family for so long. I’ve traveled multiple times in the past without my parents, but I have never flown into an unfamiliar country without someone else that I know. It’s kind of hard to not think about the trip too. Whether I am at work or hanging out with friends, everyone always asks me about my study abroad. My friends tend to ask me what animals I get to work with and what sites I get to explore? Whereas most adults ask me the serious questions like have you renewed your passport, do you know what shots you need, and are you not afraid to be gone for such a long time? The program is only three weeks long, which I believe is the perfect amount of time to spend traveling. It is just enough time to really get to know a new country, without getting home sick.
One of the first adventures I get to go on because of this trip, actually does not even occur in South Africa. I have a really long layover in Paris, which I am also excited about because it has been one of my dream places to visit. I arrive at 7am and get to explore Paris for 16 hours. Although there is not enough time to fully explore the city, I will definitely make sure to spend my time wisely. Aside from getting to do some exploring, my very close friend will be studying abroad in Paris at the same time that I am there. We’ve already decided to meet up, and I am thankful that I will at least have her there to help me get around the city, since she is fluent in french. Another possible summer adventure is that the World Cup is currently happening. I am personally rooting for the French National team to win, and if they do win my layover is actually the day after the final game. If France were to win, I would be able to experience the emotion of a country that has just won a World Cup,which would be unimaginable.
There are many things I have not decided yet, which I probably should do soon. I am not sure if I should bring my laptop with me, or buy an international data plan for my phone. This program is a time for me to disconnect from the world that I am used to, and really dive into exotic veterinary medicine. It would also be nice to have data in order to stay in touch with my worried friends and family, also known as my mother. During the program there are many things that I will have in the back of my mind such as vet school applications,GREs, and a Calculus final I need to take when I get back. Hopefully the other college students will be on the same boat or have already gone through it to give me some advice. My group has a total of 9 students including myself. I am assuming we are all around the same age and we will all be going through many “first times” together, which will bring us all really close.
Enjoy and savor every moment!