What Applying to Study Abroad Was Really Like

I cannot believe I am leaving for China in one week!  When I was applying for approval to study abroad through Holy Cross’ Office of Study Abroad last November, my date of departure seemed so far in the distance I could hardly imagine the day I would be boarding my flight.

In April of sophomore year, after having received approval from Holy Cross, I was in close contact with the Office of Study Abroad in order to apply directly to my study abroad program of choice.  I chose to study with CET Academic Programs because of its great reputation among Holy Cross students and staff.  It was especially helpful that Assistant Director of the Office of Study Abroad, Angie Woodmansee, had participated in a study abroad program with CET and served as a great resource in answering any questions I had surrounding how I would spend my time in China.

After receiving acceptance into CET’s fall semester program in early May, it was time to begin taking the necessary steps to prepare for my time in China, including applying for my visa, booking my flight, and developing a packing list.  CET was incredibly helpful in this regard, connecting me with resources that helped me obtain my visa almost effortlessly.  Additionally, they provided suggestions on what to pack, how to get the best deal on a flight, how best to communicate with my family and friends while abroad, etc.

Another crucial aspect in my preparation process has been researching more about Beijing!  Although I had the opportunity to study in Shanghai several years ago, I am no expert on Beijing, so I am trying to learn as much as I can before arriving in order to make the most of my time there.  I have found it really helpful to read blogs and watch Youtube videos about others’ experiences in Beijing.  Reading about historic landmarks in Beijing from guidebooks on China, I compiled a list of about 30 places I would love to visit in Beijing alone!

With one more week here in the United States, I feel in a good position to depart and am thankful for the support I have received in this preparation process.  I cannot wait for what comes next!

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