The Final Countdown: 5 Things I did this Summer to Prepare Me for My Year Abroad

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IMG_2986 (2)Hello there you fabulous readers! Now, you might have to bear with me, I’ve become a tad excitable during the past few weeks as I prepare for my departure and I’m struggling to keep my cool.

I have just under one week until I’m off to Canada and, don’t tell anyone, I’m a little nervous. Although I’ve been before, a holiday isn’t quite the same as living and studying there for a year, and I can’t help feeling slightly unprepared. I’m always up for an adventure but the unknown can be daunting! That’s why, to calm my nerves, I spent the last few weeks of summer making the most of England and doing things that would help me look forward to Canada.

So here it is, my shortened list (believe me it was substantially longer) of must do’s to prepare me for my year abroad! Continue reading

What I Wish I’d Known Before Coming Abroad

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Hello again 🙂

I had many, many thoughts about what my year abroad was going to be like. It felt like I had imagined every possible outcome of every possible scenario. However, what has actually happened has been something completely different. Continue reading

Aix-en-Provence – thoughts and expectations

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This is the second time that I’m going to live and study in a country that I’m completely unfamiliar with. This time this is even truer as I don’t speak any French (although the Geordie accent was a hard one too). Not that I’m trying to overestimate the situation, obviously everyone involved knew this before accepting my application, so it’s fair game. But apart from my studies, everything will be in French and these people aren’t famous for speaking any other language. So overall, I’m slightly worried, but also looking forward to my year.

I don't actually need this Continue reading

Katie packs her bags

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It’s strange how well you can get to know people in nine weeks. Or how well they can get to know you more like. My work friend made a point of pressing these post-its on my side of the partition between our desks periodically, and each one made me giggle in a very office-inappropriate way. This one I thought he got particularly spot-on.
packs bags Continue reading

The countdown begins!

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So the wait begins, just two weeks remain until I arrive in the city of Dublin!

My future campus; Trinity College

I can’t say it’s hit me yet, moving to anywhere other than where I’ve been for the last two years. But that’s the best part of it! My excitement levels will probably be through the roof whilst on my way to the airport, it’ll be like the first time I went to Durham – head out of the window, eyes doing their own personal tour of the streets, trying to embrace my new home (except this time I’ll be on a plane!). Living overseas for the next nine months in possibly one of the most beautiful universities in the world, is something I am incapable of fathoming until I see it for myself. Continue reading

Dressing like a Roman

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With just under a week to go until I leave, it is now full steam ahead! When summer term finished, I thought I had ‘loads of time, so much time!’ until I would leave for Italy – much like in exam term when you say ‘5 weeks? that’s ages!’ and then ‘3 weeks, no problem!’, and suddenly ‘LESS THAN ONE WEEK?! HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?!’ So, with a little bit of panic and much excitement, I have got down to preparing myself to move abroad.

just look at it!

recent hobby = finding pictures of Rome on Pinterest

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T minus 10, 9, 8, 7…

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My bags are not packed.  My accommodation at Heidelberg University is unknown (it’s confirmed, but confusingly they can’t tell me where yet).

Yet as I wistfully consider how I’m going to miss Durham and stare out of the window at the pouring rain outside (pathetic fallacy: check), I’m overcome with excitement.  I want to run out the door and jump into the swelling puddles outside.  I might just do so after writing this. Continue reading

Maple Leaf Dreams

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“An MRI scan of my brain would undoubtably reveal the shape of a maple leaf etched upon my frontal lobe.”

Perhaps I overestimated the amount of preparation I needed to do before my year abroad. I had heard horror stories about last minute packing shenanigans, forgetting lucky underwear (heaven forbid) and turning up in the country without even a short itinerary of places to go, things to see, restaurants to eat at (obviously essential research).

I had bid farewell to the majority of friends at my early 21st party in July, explained about my year abroad to an inquest of tipsy customers during two waitressing jobs (“Canada? Bring your winter boots!”), and used the Canadian flag emoji in one too many snapchat posts. An MRI scan of my brain would undoubtably reveal the shape of a maple leaf etched upon my frontal lobe.

I was done with England, and South East Asia for that matter after seeing it crop up endlessly on my Facebook timeline. After much procrasti-baking that would impress Mary Berry, making travelling plans, and consoling friends that I would always be available through the magic of Skype, I began packing.

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