Bit By the Travel Bug

Hello all! It’s been a while since I last posted, but I told you I would be back! Alas, here I am. Since the last time I posted, many wonderful things have happened that I would like to share.

As you may know, last year at this time (Yikes, time flies!), I had just landed in Europe for the first time ever and was just about to begin my journeys in Dublin, London, Spain, Italy and France. In fact, I was looking at my TimeHop and saw that just last year, I was enjoying a strong brew of Guinness straight from the brewery in Ireland. Man…I want to go back!

guinness

If you find yourself curious of the places I saw, I wrote posts on each city I visited, so take a look! I kept them very informative, interesting and included lots of pictures!

So, fast forward in time a little bit. As soon as I returned, I enjoyed a spectacular senior week with my peers as I graduated with my Bachelors from Geneseo. During the summer, I worked at the apartment complex I live at, thoroughly cleaning all 77 of them for the new tenants. Man, was that full-time work! I love it though because the people I work with are wonderful, the location literally could not be any better and I can just blast my music all day in zone out in my cleaning. (I love to clean…like LOVE it.)

Anyway, during the summer I also did the Insanity program, start to finish and didn’t skip a single day! I slept very well every night because I was so exhausted from everything.

In the fall, I began my graduate studies at Geneseo–yes, the same school as before. What can I say, it’s my home! So this particular program had caught my interest many years back when I first started at this school, as I noticed a brochure in the School of Education hallway. This program is an intensive, year and a half program which takes me to Córdoba, Argentina for two semesters of study. There, I will be taking courses in Spanish teaching and methodology in Spanish with Argentinian peers. Needless to say, I’m pretty pumped.

Photo courtesy of SUNY Geneseo website
Photo courtesy of SUNY Geneseo website

More about the program here:

http://www.geneseo.edu/study_abroad/argentina-masters

What I didn’t know was that when I signed up for the program, I was part of the very first group to go! In fact, there are only 4 of all altogether in the Master’s program doing this. So yep, we’re the guinea pigs.

After a rocky semester of completing necessary requirements for my school and the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba (Which were the real pain in the behind), all was finally said and done and I could go relax for winter break. By relax, I mean work as many hours as possible so that I have travel money while I’m there.

This will be me.  http://media.giphy.com/media/h4kIihkkQOpRm/giphy.gif
This will be me.
http://media.giphy.com/media/h4kIihkkQOpRm/giphy.gif

Here’s the catch: since grades to transfer from other colleges (which sucks because I got all A’s in Spain and it didn’t help my GPA), I had to achieve SUPERB grades in the ONE semester I had here on campus. I had to work my butt off in each of my classes to reach my goal of summa cum laude (with highest honors), otherwise I was never going to reach it. And wouldn’t you know it, I made it!! The day grades came in, as nerve-wracking as it was, I saw the 3.9 and leaped for joy around my apartment! 😀

Pretty accurate.  http://img1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20120308192218/glee/images/7/7e/Happy.gif
Pretty accurate.
http://img1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20120308192218/glee/images/7/7e/Happy.gif

The great part about all this is that by next year at THIS time, I will have my Master’s degree in Spanish teaching!! This is great because I was able to travel to a variety of countries while I was young and untethered, and I won’t have to worry about taking grad courses during my first years of teaching, which are stressful enough on their own.

Okay, so I think we’re about caught up now. Oh, when am I leaving you may ask? Well, since Argentina’s schooling runs on a very different schedule than ours up here, I won’t even have my first class until March. However, for orientation and such, I need to be there by the end of February. Actually, I need to be there before the last week in February.

Luckily, I found a place to stay in the city for a pretty good rate, a nice, one-bedroom apartment in a quiet part of the neighborhood. (I’m an old soul.) Since I don’t like a lot of loud noise and partying, and I am an introvert who largely prefers solitude, this was perfect for me.

It's so cute!!
It’s so cute!!

apt 2

A couple months ago, I invested in the The International Student Identity Card (ISIC), and for 25 dollars, it saves me HEAPS of money. In fact, it has already paid for itself, since it’s saving me about a grand on the flight! You read that right. Normally, a flight JUST TO Argentina runs you about $1,600 or more. That’s not round-trip, people. With this ISIC card, I can go to the statravel.com website, which only allows those with this card to purchase flights, and get a round-trip for under $1,200. Woah. Let that sink in for a minute.

This is what it looks like, with my picture of course :P https://extranet.isic.org/image/image_gallery?uuid=e1dce792-5b24-49f5-a9ea-2ef1672b9242&groupId=10520&t=1311252323347
This is what it looks like, with my picture of course 😛
https://extranet.isic.org/image/image_gallery?uuid=e1dce792-5b24-49f5-a9ea-2ef1672b9242&groupId=10520&t=1311252323347

Funny story though…I haven’t even bought my tickets yet. Why? Well, I have to get round-trip, otherwise I can’t get that deal. Since the return date is so far in advance (the week before Thanksgiving of 2015), I had to wait for the return date to be available before I could even THINK of buying my first flight. So there’s that.

I also finally invested in an at-home printer. Only after I graduated and everything, right? I was so excited to FINALLY be able to print without restriction, I printed ALL THE THINGS, eventually creating a lovely, comprehensive Argentina binder and guidebook, which holds the original documents I’ll be needing down there, necessary information and phone numbers, important facts and step-by-step instructions for getting my visa and such, and a plethora of other resources (If my sister reads this, I’m sorry I used the word “plethora”. I know you hate it, but I found it most fitting for that particular sentence.).

notebook cover

This is what the cover looks like. When I have no classes, I obviously have too much time on my hands.

So what now? Well, we wait. Once again, I will be making all necessary preparations and tying loose ends before I leave (don’t worry, I made a checklist which is in my binder!), and working a crazy amount so I can afford some awesome travel experiences while I’m down there. I’m going to be gone double the amount of time I was in Spain, so I need to do a lot more to prepare. In my next blog post, I will be telling you all about Argentina and why I am so excited to go! After that, I’ll provide a post all about preparing for study abroad programs and what to do before you leave, based on my personal experiences.

Here’s to another year of travel and adventure!!

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