A month from today, on January 22, 2012, I will be setting foot for the first time in Glasgow, Scotland.
These are my feelings.
However, even though I’ve traveled a lot before, this will be the first time I will be almost entirely on my own in a foreign country. Except for another girl from Agnes with whom I’m only acquainted, I will know no one abroad.
And that’s terrifying.
Even though I know I could always run to the study abroad coordinator at Strathclyde if stuff goes wrong or at the last resort, contact the Agnes Scott Office of International Education or even home, I’m still, largely, alone for everyday things.
I know I’ll have an orientation when I get there, and that’s comforting. Still, it’s occurred to me that I will have to figure out where to buy food (don’t have a meal plan!) and budget that out, as well as learn how to get around an unfamiliar city and country and probably other things and expenses I can’t think of right now.
There will be neither friends nor family to help me in this far-off place.
But that’s what study abroad’s for, right? To learn how to handle myself in unfamiliar territory?
Even rationally knowing that, I’ve been feeling a nervousness I hadn’t felt as I was buying air tickets and filling out the dozens of forms ISEP and the University’s been throwing at me (my health insurance includes coverage for the “repatriation of remains?”). I guess school and exams had been cushioning me from that reality.
There’s not much I can do, though, except to prepare extensively and hope for the best. I may not be able to control my fear, but I can control my response to it.