May 23rd, 2006
I am proud to announce that I will finally be leaving this country by the end of the week to be in my Spanish homeland on the Iberian Peninsula. Well I’m not really from Spain, but I could be… somewhere along my family tree. One thing that I failed to mention in my past blogs is that I will soon be studying abroad for 5 weeks in Barcelona, Spain. (CAN I GET A WHOOP!) But it was not easy by ANY means!
I applied for the trip last November on a whim, and I paid the non-refundable deposit in January – all done entirely behind my parents’ back. Don’t be fooled; I am by no means in the habit of making these types of decisions without their consent, but this was something that could not be passed up. After I broke the news to them and convinced them both that it is very unlikely I would be exposed to terrorist danger (I AM NOT JOKING ABOUT THIS PART! My dad is extremely cynical / cautious in that respect), they seemed to be rather enthusiastic about the whole subject.
I don’t know about you, but before this experience, I was under the impression that only rich people can study abroad; but believe me, if I’m going on this trip, then pigs can indeed fly and even Paris Hilton can win an Oscar. I am by no means poor, but I have been known to fix a pair or two of tennis shoes with super glue.
Because I’m graduating early, I was able to divert two semester payments of two four year scholarships and apply them to study abroad. However, for one of them, I have to do an additional 2 hours of independent study, but as I mentioned in previous blogs, I AM A HUGE NERD and don’t mind the extra leg work.
Also, every student pays a bit of their tuition towards a study abroad scholarship that is up for grabs for any student who applies. I was able to snag that and the stipend that comes with being an honors student.
I’m not in the habit of throwing around financial figures, but in total, I was practically given $4000 without having to exert any kind of measurable effort or selling my body to science. That is quite an accomplishment, if I don’t say so myself. That didn’t cover everything because my friends and I are doing a lot of weekend trips that are proving to be rather taxing on our pocketbooks. Hey, if I’m going to Europe, I BETTER DO IT IN STYLE! (Who knows when I’ll get this opportunity again.) I plan to try and keep you all updated with as many pictures and blogs as my schedule allows.
I guess the message of today’s blog is not to give up opportunities like this without first seriously weighing whether or not it’s possible. Like I said before, I never though I would ever be financially able to study abroad in Spain, but things seemed to work in my favor. I never thought I’d see the day when it literally paid off to take college classes in high school so I could graduate ahead of time. All those years of complaining to my mom about how I hated studying for high school and college classes are pretty insignificant considering I’ll be “studying” on Spanish beaches. (And you better believe I’m packing my speedos! )
I will be taking 8 hours total at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (la Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona – UAB for short). The people going on the trip with me are GREAT AGGIES! I already know we’re going to have some crazy Euro-trip adventures, and I think I’ll be in the poor house when I get back.
All I know is that as soon as I’m home, it’s off to working retail again at American Eagle. It wouldn’t be so bad if I wasn’t tempted to blow my paycheck on all the good discounts workers get. Oh well, I’ll have to learn to resist my materialistic urges for one summer. BIG DEAL… CUZ I’m GOING TO SPANISH-LAND!!! Sorry, I just can’t get over it.
I’ll keep you all posted…
Love, Peace, And Chicken Grease, FernE