Hello all! Welcome to my blog! I have never done this before so bear with me as I will most likely rant on for too long and probably veer off course. So to start, my name is Brooke. I’m a senior in college. For the past three and a half years I have been attending the University of North Dakota majoring in Theatre Arts. Now, I will be spending my very last semester of school in England! That’s right folks, I’m off to the U.K.! Before you ask, no I will not be in London. I’m actually going to be about three hours north of London right smack in the middle of England. Other things you should know about me is I love dark chocolate, I can’t decide between cats or dogs, and I am absolutely over-the-moon-THRILLED to be studying in England! Now let’s get down to business.
Wow. In less than a week I will be leaving the U.S.and beginning a brand new adventure in a foreign country that I will get to call home for four months. For those of you who do not know me on a personal basis, England has always been on my top 5 list of countries I want to visit. And now I am! Not even six months ago did I know I would be embarking on such a trip. But here I am trying my best not to over-pack or under-pack, or accidentally pack the dog! I mean, I’m going to be LIVING in England for FOUR MONTHS. What does one pack for such a trip? If anyone out there has tips or tricks please let me know!
Aside from the maddening packing, I should let you know that studying abroad is no simple or easy task to accomplish. There were, and are, many steps to take. I hope this blog could be of help to anyone who is thinking about studying abroad. First, I had to get a passport because those can take quite a bit of time to get back to you. Second, there were many hoops to jump through at school, such as making sure I had taken all the courses required of me, set up contact information, and apply to the schools of the country desired of me. I essentially applied to college again. Anyone in college knows applying to college is a pain in the a**. Third, I had to arrange for someone else to take my place in my apartment so I wouldn’t have to continue to pay rent (bless this person!). This also means I had to completely move out of my apartment. My SUV was absolutely FULL! (Don’t try driving without being able to see out of your windows at home kids). Fourth, I had to quit my job. Quitting your job may not be necessary; maybe you can take a leave of absence. But because this is my last semester and I have no apartment to go back to, Grand Forks has nothing left for me when I return. Fifth, I had to figure out a phone plan that didn’t break the bank. Do I continue my plan with my American network or get a new sim card with a different phone network when arriving in England? I’m choosing the latter option. Lastly, I’ve been biding my time between my parents’ houses spending time with family, enjoying the holiday season, and also trying to make all necessary payments and arrangements at the new university. There were also certain tasks that could not be achieved until another one was and certain deadlines to meet so this has all come together over the course of four months. On top of all of that, I was still in school trying to do homework, papers, readings, productions (theatre major), and work on the weekends. It was quite stressful.
I’m sure I have left many things out but I hope you get the gist that this was a time consuming and difficult process. Thankfully I had many mentors and advisers at my school to help me step by step so I owe a HUGE thank you to them. Also my friends and family were very supportive and tried to lend a helping hand when I needed it. But pretty soon all of that stress will have been completely worth it because I’m going to be in England!! There are so many things I am excited about but the one aspect I am MOST excited about is this: this is my adventure. I will have the opportunity to learn so much more about myself AND learn so much about another country’s culture. The independence and freedom I feel going into this trip is irreplaceable. I don’t know that I will ever have a chance to travel to Europe again so I plan to take full advantage of it. I will be posting every week on this blog to update you on my experiences. I hope I haven’t rambled too long but I also hope you look forward to reading my next post. For the time being . . .
That’s all folks!