The idea of studying abroad has been in my mind for as long as I can remember. Maybe it was all of the French movies we watched throughout elementary and high school, or maybe I’ve just always been itching to travel to a far, far away place (I’ve never travelled Europe aside from going to Scotland when I was eight!) I came to Glendon in 2010 knowing that an exchange wasn’t even a question; not only because my parents have always been large advocates for it, but because it’s also a requirement of my International BA. Perfect! Now I have a real excuse to frolic around Europe for a year. 😉
There are obviously many other reasons why I chose to do an exchange. The first is because I was inspired to immerse myself further into French culture after having done the Explore program in Trois-Pistoles, Québec. I cannot even describe in real words how amazing that experience was, because real words wouldn’t do it justice. I’ll leave it to your imagination and trust that at some point in your scholarly career you’ll do the Explore program. There is absolutely nothing to lose except all communication in English (but seriously).
The other reason why I chose to do an exchange was because I’m studying to become an elementary school French teacher, which is not always the most inspiring kind of teacher to many students. That’s what I want to change in my future classroom. I hope to inspire my students to continue studying this beautiful language for the rest of their lives, and there is no better way to do so than to share with them my own experiences with the language. Instilling a sense of adventure and FUN into my students in the French classroom will be a much easier task if I have a year’s worth of full French-immersion adventures in the bag.
The exchange application. O M G. So. Exhausting. Looking back on it, though, the application really made us wrap our heads around what we were about to get ourselves into.
‘Do I have the money to do this?’
‘Will I be able to be away from home for a whole ten months?’
‘Will I adapt to the different culture thrown in my face the moment I land?’
If I could give one piece of advice to those who are thinking of applying to the exchange program in the coming years, it would be to START EARLY! Every student procrastinates and this is no exception. You do not want to find yourself scrambling to finish the night before the application is due! Another thing to note on this subject is that your professors are not as timely as you think they are; request references from them as early as you can so that they don’t leave you hanging.
“You have been selected to attend Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) in Belgique during your exchange.”
Probably the most beautiful words I had ever read in my life. I jumped a lot, cried a little, called my mom, then posted a status on Facebook, in that order. Even better, I’m going with two of my best friends at Glendon, Ana and Meena. This could not possibly get any better!
So here I am, in the process of preparing for my exchange between September 2013 and June 2014. Slowly but surely, it’s getting really real in my mind. I’M GOING TO EUROPE FOR A YEAR!
Today, I booked my flight. I honestly don’t think I’ve bragged about something so much in my entire life. It might be because my flight was dirt cheap, and has a two-day layover in Reykjavik, ICELAND.
My parents have always wanted to take a family vacation to Iceland, so I’m just rubbing it in their faces at this point. (Love you Mum and Dad! (They’re totally reading this.))
We also booked our camping accommodations for Oktoberfest in Munich today! We’re going for my 21st birthday at the end of September, and I cannot think of a more fun way to celebrate.
Well, that’s all I got. You should bookmark this blog so that you can read about my life all year. Deal? Deal.
Until my next post! À bientôt!