paperwork,  pre-departure

Just the beginning

I have had the small idea of going on an exchange year in mind for quite some time already, but my sister getting on a plane to the United Kingdom made me finally realize how much I actually want to do it. It’s been one of my biggest dreams to leave my home country for a year, live on the other side of the ocean in a foreign environment, with a different family and surrounded by complete strangers who don’t speak my language; to experience the daily life of American high-schoolers which I now only know from movies, shows and the internet, and I’m not gonna lie, that’s probably not very accurate… I’ve wanted to get to know a new country, its culture and people. And well, when a person wants something, they try their best to get it…

So for the past few years I’ve been regularly checking sources of information on exchange years in the US, I’ve been doing my research, reading, watching or listening to stories of other students who have already got the opportunity to experience it, so I’d be ready for my adventure once it comes. I’ve spent hours and hours just scrolling through the internet even though I knew there’s not much left that I wouldn’t know already. Maybe I just thought it’ll make the time go by faster and maybe it did, because the time has come and I was able to sign up for exchange. So I did, I filled in the horrifically long application requiring many signatures from not only me and my parents but also doctors, school officials and teachers. I wrote a motivational letter, recorded a video about me and my life, printed out and scanned back many documents, I went through a few visits of doctors and offices but I managed to submit the application in less than a month (from what I heard, some other students even needed a few months to get it all done). Sometimes it was stressful, sometimes it annoyed me a little bit, but the relief after finishing it made me forget about all the things I hated about having to do it.

This morning I recieved the “acceptance letter” which made all the stress around it go away. I don’t have to worry about it anymore and I can just keep waiting for a placement, for a host family. I know it’s there’s still many things left for me to do before setting off to the US, but it’s kind of a first big step. I just can’t back off now, because that way this would’ve been for nothing and it took too much effort to just throw away (also we’ve already paid quite a lot of money, so no, I’m not changing my mind now).

I’m getting more and more excited every day about what’s to come and I just know that however this turns out, it will be worth it and I’m here for it!

Dear Alice,
We have received your application and are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted into the SAI academic year/semester in the United States program.
As you begin your preparations for this great adventure, we strongly encourage you to continue working on your English skills. Once you have received your placement details about your host family, make contact with them as soon as possible.
We look forward to having you join our program for the academic year beginning August 2022.
Sincerely yours,

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