Dying of anticipation (but not of typhoid!)

Hello, blogosphere! I’m Shaina, and ten days from now I will be on my way to South America.

The list of things I still have to do before I leave is so long it really doesn’t bear thinking about, but I’ve been sitting here in my hometown for the past almost-two-months with very little to do, so I am VERY excited to be going. When you’re looking forward to a wonderful semester full of experiential learning, cultural immersion, and wacky adventures in another hemisphere, it can get pretty frustrating hanging out at home reading everyone else’s blogs about their learning/immersion/adventures.

But now I’m getting ahead of myself, so: I am a third-year college student doing a semester-long study abroad program in Chile and Argentina. The program focuses on comparative education & social change, which is only tangentially related to my major (psychology) but is nevertheless something I have a strong interest in. I don’t have a ton of details on when I’ll be in which country, how my classes will work, who my host family will be, or what in the world I’ll be doing for my Independent Study/Practicum project. I’m sure I’ll figure all that out as I go along.

I’ve already done so much preparing (and paperwork! Oh, lord, the paperwork) for this program that it’s kind of inconceivable that I still need to do more, but, well, there it is. I now have my student visa — the process to get it involved jumping through more hoops than your average trained dog at the circus, so I’m very glad that’s over with — and I’ve gotten the one suggested vaccine I didn’t already have, which was for typhoid. No ridiculously high fevers for me, please! That just leaves doing all my pre-departure reading, buying international power adapters, getting copies of various prescriptions, backing up my computer, putting together the gifts I’ll be giving my various host families, and packing. Nbd, right?

I’m not going to commit myself to any particular schedule of updating this blog, especially since I have no idea what my internet access is going to be like once I’m abroad. As you’ve probably noticed, though, I really like to ramble about insignificant details of my life, so it’s probably safe to say I’ll make an effort to update whenever I have something to say.