After submitting my application last month I felt a wave of relief and excitement assuming all I had to do was wait to find out where I was going. In retrospect I see that may have been a naïve presumption.
To keep a long story short, I’ll give you a quick rundown of what transpired over the last month and a half. Along with my online application I submitted to the study abroad office I also had to submit an application fee to the registrar’s office. Throughout this process important paperwork was misplaced and almost a month of time was taken in going back and forth with the registrar’s office to hunt that down. Many phone calls and headaches later it was finally found and passed onto the study abroad office.
Towards the tail end of this problem another issue arose, although I had attended the school I applied to study abroad through previously it was brought to my attention that I needed to reapply. This meant more money had to be spent on another application fee and I had to go through another application process.
Right before the deadline for the study abroad applications I was informed that one of my academic references was not applicable. With me being a primarily online and evening class student, finding professors to be a reference for me is rather difficult. I don’t interact with many professors in person, so I had to stretch and get a current professor to fill it out for me even though I had only been in her class for a few weeks at the time. Luckily this got taken care of in the nick of time.
Now if all of this weren’t frustrating enough, I received even more disappointing news mid-October. I eagerly checked my email and mailbox daily waiting to hear good news about where I would be spending my spring semester. On the 11th I received an email informing me that “Your first choice, the University of Leicester Exchange, is not available.” Turned out that so many students applied for this particular school in England that they had to filter it and only allow degree seeking students at the university to apply. Being currently enrolled in another university in the state, I no longer qualified. I found this very discouraging because I had gotten my hopes up to go to the university in England, I had done a lot of research and had what I thought was a good plan financially and academically there. But I guess it’s like they say, “you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.”
Things weren’t looking promising for my second choice at first, the University of Groningen in The Netherlands. The student visa process is harder than most countries and they don’t offer my degree, which is communication. After I had my meltdown fueled by discouragement and confusion, I did some more research into the school and discovered they offer courses within their psychology department that overlap with communications. After getting in touch with the department head at the University of Groningen to make sure my prerequisites would suffice I was able to let the study abroad office here know that this school was indeed a viable option for me. This morning they sent my nomination to Groningen which means: The Netherlands here I come! (God willing of course). It isn’t set in stone, but from what I was told it is very unlikely that I wouldn’t be able to go. So as of now I am hesitantly very excited. After a month and a half of challenges and disappointment, I don’t want to get my hopes up quite yet, but I am very happy that things are looking up.
“We may run, walk, stumble, drive or fly, but let us never lose sight of the reason for the journey, or miss a chance to see a rainbow on the way.” Gloria Gaither