Utrecht, here I come! | Briana

It’s official!! Well, okay, it’s 99.8% official!! I will be going to Utrecht, The Netherlands for a once-in-a-lifetime chance to study abroad!! I can’t believe how excited I am!!

I decided in May that I wanted to go on exchange. I had thought about going to Australia in my third year, but in the end I decided against it. But this time, I figured I’d go for it. Why not? I’m in Education, technically, but I’m taking an extra year of classes to make it possible to get a Master’s in Women’s Studies at some point, so I have tons of available electives and no residency requirement, since I am owned by the Faculty of Education and not Arts and Science.

I got all my paperwork in and paid my $140 initial fee. Then I saw an academic adviser and then I was put in touch with the incredibly talented and patient Exchange Coordinator for the Faculty of Management, who has been dealing with my sometimes often panicked emails, asking about requirements and scholarships and everything else. She’s been wonderful and supportive, and I met her today face to face for the very first time. We filled out my official application and it’s done!! All I need now is to get new passport photos to send with my application and I’m MOVING TO EUROPE, BABY!!

The process itself has been fairly simple, both with the U of L and with HU, my university in Utrecht. That being said, without the coordinator, it could easily have been a nightmare. I needed my initial fee, program checks, official transcripts sent over to Markin, an online application to HU (which would not open on my Mac no matter how many times and how many browsers I tried!), and an application sent in to Short Stay Housing, which handles all off-campus housing for international students because there is no residence at HU. Anyway. It’s all done, except the passport photos. But once those are done, she will send my official package to HU and they will officially say, “Yes, Bri, we want you!” and I will go!

The other thing I did? I BOUGHT MY TICKETS. I know I said 99.8% sure, but I went to check prices with a travel agent today and the price was great and I said, “Let’s do this thing!” and I bought tickets. I JUST BOUGHT THEM!! Crazy, right?! So I leave for Amsterdam on the 26th of January and I come home on the 28th of June. Five full months! Oh, and I chose my program! Social Change and Social Reform through the HU Faculty of Social Work… perfect for an almost-teacher and a Rotaractor like yours truly!!

Well, I will keep you updated, especially when it’s 100% official, and not just 99.8%. What can I say? I’m an optimist. I just know everything will turn out and I will be out of here in 89 days. 89 days! (I may or may not have a countdown on my laptop…) This girl is Europe-bound!!

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