According to my Fly Delta app, my check in time is 33 days away. That means I have 33 days to finish ALL of the paperwork I still have not turned in. 33 days to get my visa. 33 days to find out whether or not I get a scholarship, and then if not find out how to pay for this trip. 33 days of getting excited, then getting stressed. 33 days to figure out what the heck I’m need to pack and how to fit it into one large suitcase and a carry-on. 33 days of hoping my hair miraculously grows 18 inches. And 33 days of realizing I’m finally living my dream of studying abroad in South Korea… and I have no idea what I’m doing.
I think before you get to the stage of preparing to actually leave the country-looking at the brochures, researching schools and programs, planning mini trips, all the fun stuff-you do not fully realize how many things need to be taken care of pre-departure. I have about six forms I still need to have filled out and turned in. Consortium Agreement, Transient Credit Form, 2 or 3 financial aid forms, etc. Some of these are multiple pages in length while others the trouble comes in tracking down the professor that needs to fill it out and she ends up being a continent away. In short, if you are preparing to study abroad, and have loads of forms, start on them at least 2 months in advance, but in order to not feel stressed about them I’d start on them about 3 or 4 months before leaving. My academic advisor ended up being abroad when I contacted her for my transient credit form. I am still waiting over one month after her telling me she would have it back to me shortly for that form. You really never know how long they will take to get back.
Applying for your visa is another nasty beast. I found so many different lists of the documents I needed. I turned in my visa application just three days ago, so I will post if it goes well and gets approved. If I did it correctly I will make sure to do a step by step on the process, since it is so infuriating.
It feels like a lifetime waiting for the day to leave to finally come, and knowing I still have so much to take care of but most of it is just to wait too. Waiting for scholarship results, waiting for visa approval, and waiting for forms to be sent back and turned in. I know this blog will get more exciting when the waiting stops and I am finally on my way.