Exchange Prep

Applying for exchange isn’t easy. It’s stressful.

In January this year I blogged about applying for exchange. That was just applying to my university to get approval – which I did. Now is the time to apply to the host university I am going to next year in January and there are so many administrative stuff to do it’s crazy.

There’s tons of paperwork to be done. It has to be done properly.

I’m stressed over the admin stuff because it’s so messy and all over the place. So many different deadlines and documents to submit, different people to find, different aspects to cover. Everything has to be done meticulously and it feels like I’m applying to stay overseas permanently.

It isn’t far from the truth – just omit the permanence.

Nevertheless, the excitement is like a fire slowly growing in me. I’m going with 8 other people in my course – that’s 9 in total – and we’re helping each other out to submit by the deadline. We’re clarifying our doubts and sharing information with one another.

I mentioned that I applied alone. These people are hence few friends for me to meet and make. I’ve not properly talked to any of them or gotten to know any of them so this will be a completely new experience for me – making new friends, both local and overseas, and living abroad for 6 months. It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do. The fears have not yet hit me but I believe I will start to really feel it once everything is approved and confirmed.

There are people I will miss here back home. I can’t believe not seeing my family for six months and counting. I can’t believe not seeing my grandmother or eating any of her food for more than six months. I can’t believe I may not see my friends for a whole year (they’re going to exchange in the semester after mine). I can’t believe I’ll be away from everything that’s familiar.

It’s a busy period now and while I’m coping with all the stress from school, there are other things to consider. I’ve used a lot of effort thus far this semester and I believe it’s the reason why I was burned out by week 7. Relationships, family, work, personal struggles – it’s all vying for my attention and I can only do so much at one time.

Exchange takes up a lot of my time. A whopping six months and counting. How I spend the time is up to me to decide. How I make use of this opportunity is for me to decide.

There’s only one thing I find a pity thus far.

We grew apart.

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