The word Genesis is said to have origins in many languages such as Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. No matter what language you see the word, they all seem to agree on one thing; it’s meaning. Genesis means “In the Beginning”, or “the formation of something.” Well, Congratulations. You’ve found your way to the place where I’ll share the adventures of my upcoming year abroad with you, starting with my Genesis.
Most of the blogs from people who’ve studied abroad seem to begin with their first day in their new home wherever that may be. Better yet, it usually began with more or less the second or third week because everyone seemed to have a hectic first week getting used to everything and familiarizing themselves with the area. I won’t say that I won’t end up experiencing the same first week as most bloggers because I probably will. But one thing that I noticed was missing in my opinion was the lead up to the blogger actually going abroad. For me, this has been the most stressful part. Between all the steps of applying for my VISA, to trying to find a roommate and housing (which I still haven’t found by the way). Then to top it all off, the language barrier is a killer…okay, that hasn’t been that hard since everyone seems to speak English (at least at the school I’m going to), but it does get really annoying when you can’t say what you need to say because you know the other person won’t be able to understand.
So to start, I want to say how excited I was to finally be able to go on an exchange program. I’ve tried since 10th grade to go abroad but for one reason or another (mostly financial), I was always unable to. But I must say, I do believe that everything happens for a reason. An exchange program in college is MUCH cheaper than it would have been in High School and comes with a lot more freedom! Anyways, after UF approved me to study abroad around March-ish, the waiting game began. Finally, near the end of June, I got my acceptance letter from Skema Business School, my university in France. So that left me about two months to buy my flight, get my VISA, and find housing.
To get a student VISA for France, you have to jump through like one million hoops. Not to mention I had to go to Miami because that was the only French Consulate for the area. But I didn’t mind because I got to make a vacation out of it and visit some friends and family.
Now, it’s exactly two weeks before I leave for France and I have yet to sign a lease for a place to live. Shortly after I got my acceptance letter from Skema, I found two French roommates and we’ve been looking for an apartment. Everything is either too expensive, unavailable, or the owner doesn’t want to rent to students. So now I’m scrambling trying not to be homeless in a foreign country where I don’t speak the language. I have two potential options right now, so hopefully one of them will work out in the next couple of days.
Either way, I am extremely excited and can’t wait for these two weeks to pass by. Just imagine life for a year on the French Riviera. I always heard my brother say “The best way to predict the future, is to create it for yourself.” So the countdown begins – T minus 2 weeks.
Up next: Saying goodbye, my travels, mini-trip to England, and first week in France