goodbyes,  overall preparations,  packing,  pre-departure

Realize what’s happening!

Another month has passed and it’s been 5 weeks since I got my placement. During that time I not only have done all the obligations but I also did quite a lot of voluntary “work” to prepare myself for my upcoming exchange year as much as possible. I’ve found and booked flight tickets, went to the US embassy for visa approval, packed my whole life into one suitcase, kept doing more and more research on my state, town, school and host family. My parents and I have done two Zoom calls with my host parents, in both we discussed what we needed to establish as well as just chatting about ourselves to get to know each other better. It goes without saying that I immediately fell in love with my host family, but besides me, so did my parents. It’s tough for those around me to release me into the unknown with a little chance of helping me if anything goes wrong for such a long time but seeing and hearing the accommodating people whom I’ll join in living for the next ten months fairly assured all of us that I will be taken well care of and really helped both my parents and I not to be as nervous. Outside of the calls, I’ve been staying in contact with my host family via text messages, friendly updating one another on our lives or arranging things regarding my stay with them and they’ve always been there for me when I needed something.

In terms of preparations, I’ve attended a summer camp hosted by the agency where the former exchange students gave us opportunities to push our limits and step out of our comfort zones (since that’s what the whole year is going to be about), whether through demanding sport practices, night games or numerous presentations on how it works in the US. I learned a lot throughout those days and in addition I got to spend the time with my beloved fellow exchange buddies and say the last goodbye before we all scatter into the wide world.

Besides other exchange students I’ve also been spending a lot of time with my family and friends here. I’ve casually said goodbye to a lot of people, but it still doesn’t hit me that I seriously won’t see them for ten months. It only feels like going away for a week-long-ish vacation, not for a year of new life. Maybe I will realize it’s actually happening once I’m sitting on a plane heading towards fulfilling my dream this Friday…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *