Hello and Welcome to the semester abroad at IAU (Institute for American Universities) College in Aix-en-Provence blog!! (What a mouthful, ha!) I would like to thank you in advance for following me on this journey – I am excited to share it with you!
Now, a quick (and what I deem a necessary) disclaimer:
I promise to keep these posts truthful, raw, and sincere so as to best capture and preserve this time in my life.
– Cassidy Robinson
The Countdown Begins!
We are officially 13 days away from the highly anticipated take-off date of August 30th! As you might imagine, there are a number of emotions running through me right now… Excitement, nervousness, gratitude, happiness, fear, sadness… with no one emotion reigning more powerful than another. I don’t think that I have ever felt this many mixed emotions before, and I especially did not expect that I would be SAD of all things! However, after some serious reflecting on myself and where I am at in life, the sadness makes sense.
I feel sad because I already know how much I will miss the people I love, the place I have come to call home, and the comfortable routine I have established. I will miss the ease of contacting my friends and family, and the familiarity of American culture. Most of all, I will miss the person I am now in this time and place because I know I will never be the same again. That said, I plan to hold on to the overwhelming happiness and peace that I have cultivated over this past year, and use it as a foundation to my growth while in France.
(For those of you who think that I shouldn’t be sad, you’re right! I shouldn’t be bummed out with this amazing opportunity at my fingertips… and just so you know, I truly am getting excited to travel to France to study WINE!!!! However, please understand that the sadness is just one facet of my emotions right now. Additionally, I would like to acknowledge the fact that it is only three and a half months away from home and I know everything that I will be leaving behind will still be here when I get back! Thank goodness!)
At this point in the pre-departure stage, I am most focused on getting all of my ducks in a row. That entails everything from traveling down to San Francisco to obtain my long-stay Visa, to inquiring about who my host family is and where they live in relation to the town center. A few other small things that I am working on is finding a debit or credit card that I can use while abroad that does not incur a foreign transaction fee, making sure that I have European adaptors, and that I have the appropriate clothes.
I am not sure if she will ever read this, but I would just like to give a shout out to the Linfield student traveling with me to IAU this fall… She has been so helpful in reminding me to do things, making suggestions on what to bring, and most of all, she has been so kind in making an effort to get me excited for this trip! I look forward to traveling with you, and am already grateful for your familiar face! Thank you!!!
That’s all for now, and hopefully the next time I write will be from a small, quaint cafe in the town center of Aix!