EMBARKING TO STUDY IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY

Growing up, my Mother spoke of her travels around the world with such passion. She seemed to be highly educated and worldly from her adventures. It sounded so exciting and interesting and I so wanted to be like my mother when I grew up. I wanted to see the world and learn things and do things too! From her stories, I began creating my Bucket List of things I wanted to see and accomplish in my life.

The opportunity for me to live my life as my mother did hers started with my Internship in Estonia last summer. One of the first things I realized was how traveling itself is a big part of learning. It allows you to learn about other and even more about yourself. From my Internship summer in Estonia, I really got excited with the possibilities I had to study in a foreign country.

As the time grew closer the past few months to be traveling abroad to study, my excitement grew. The week before leaving, I started to have concerns. I realized that I wouldn’t be around the people I loved, family and friends. The thoughts going through my mind were troubling.

My creature comforts, the things I knew as home, would not be there with me during the next 10 months. Was I as ready for the adventure as I thought I was? Doubts began flooding my mind! I began asking myself “Am I ready?” “Will I be okay?” “What will it be like living and studying in an unknown place?” “Will I be okay?” “What will life be like in a foreign place and will I like it?” “What if I don’t make friends?”

I was worried that maybe I should have been going back home to visit with my Grandmother in Singapore with the rest of my family. I really just wanted to be spending time with my brother there in Singapore, just hanging out and having a good time. After all, I hadn’t seen him in over a year. But I pushed myself forward to tick off just another thing off my Bucket List.

The flight seemed really long for some reason. I’ve traveled that distance many times before, I don’t know why it seemed so different. My fear of being alone and lonesome were eased when I met a Swedish girl who was flying back to meet friends she had made while she was a High School exchange student. She had a passion about learning and traveling and meeting new people that encouraged me to complete my Bucket List with even more Passion than I had before.

So as my adventure started, it dawned on me that my friend Nermin’s sister was supposed to pick me up at the airport and I had no idea what she look like! To add even more stress to myself, I realized that I hadn’t wrote Nermin’s phone number down to bring with me! After arriving at the airport, two Indians approached me mistaking me for a relative.

I decided to search for a place with internet so that could get Nermin’s or her sister’s phone number from my email. So as I was running around with the thought that I could be stuck at the airport that night, I saw a girl that looked to be Egyptian. As I walked toward her, she held up a sing with “Yasmine” written in English on one side and on Arabic the other side. I was so relieved!

Her name was Ami and came to the airport with her mom and her aunt to pick me up. Being with Egyptians and hearing Arabic spoken, I felt a sense of comfort. Even though I was half way across the world, I was in a community of people that kept me from feeling alone. The knowledge of know that Nermin was on her way was a sense of relief and sureness that all was going to be well.

Tomorrow was a new day for me that was exciting for me! I would be moving into student residence and orientation for my study abroad would be starting. This is just another item that I would soon be able to mark completed on my Bucket List.

 

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