Month: December 2013

“Weather” I like it or not

Well. Whether I like it or not, my semester abroad is starting in less than a month. Obviously I am incredibly excited to spend 4 months in a country that I’ve always wanted to visit and I feel very fortunate to have been able to put this trip together, but I am still really nervous. It’s hard to put into words why I am so scared about leaving. Maybe it’s leaving my friends and family behind, maybe its being in airports by myself, or maybe I’m not even nervous and I just don’t know how to properly feel excited, but a feeling of uneasyness has been rushing through me since October every time I think about leaving.

I’ve been taking care of more pre-departure tasks such as ordering a PicCell phone so that I can communicate without wireless internet, and asking my traveling father to borrow his secure passport holder that loops around my belt. You can never be too careful

People have been asking me what the weather will be like in Granada and how I’m going to pack. My response is always, “I don’t know, I’ve never been there”, but now I’m beginning to question the weather myself, as I will eventually begin packing. I’ve attached a picture of the average weather, but I’m not taking that too seriously because the “average” weather of Massachusetts isn’t that accurate compared to the weather we have either. So for anyone who was wondering, please see the picture of the average weather.

Granada Weather Averages

Granada Weather Averages

“Weather” I like it or not, my semester abroad is rapidly approaching, and I’m thrilled to start sharing my experiences with you.

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Preparation I

I’ve been working hard prepping to study abroad. I never realized how much work went into spending a semester in another country. I am spending my spring semester in Granada, Spain. When I began, I had to apply to my university first. Once they accepted me, I had a few short weeks to apply to the affiliate program that I wanted. After consulting my peers. classmates, friends, and the study abroad office at my university, I decided to use API- Academic Programs International. Their application was quite lengthy. I needed multiple letters/forms of recommendation, multiple applications, my transcript, grade reports, and a few other things. I submitted my application on October 15th, 2013 and heard from them by the end of the month! I was thrilled when they finally accepted me!

What was even more daunting than their application process was their post-application process. I had about 15 documents I needed to send them within two weeks including things like a transcript release form, a copy of my passport, medical records, housing preferences, course requests, and flight information.

Once I finally submitted all of the information required of me, I had to visit the Spanish Consulate General in Boston, MA to submit my visa application request. I honestly think that this was (and may will be) the most challenging part of my journey. The Spanish Consulate General was incredibly picky with the information they needed (and there was a lot of it). In the end, I waited in line multiple times (after making a few corrections) for about 3 and a half hours. I am still waiting to hear from them about the status of my visa, but I am hopeful that they will accept it. I have some advice for anyone who ever applies for a Spanish visa–MAKE SURE YOU PHOTOCOPY EVERYTHING, TWICE! Or you will be sent away!

Now, I have begun a blog, gathered a few items that I will be using abroad (camera, crossbody bag, etc.), and have submitted paperwork through my own university to ensure that my courses will transfer back to my home institution.

I will definitely be documenting my later preparations as my departure becomes closer!