While the thought of preparing to study abroad may seem daunting, Carlson actually makes it really easy. I just had my class orientation a couple weeks ago. There, I got to meet the 29 other students and professor I will be traveling with. We got a comprehensive overview of the trip-- where we'll be staying, what tourist attractions we're seeing (Michael Angelo's "David" is on the list-- yay!), and the lectures and classes we'll be attending. It felt really nice leaving that afternoon knowing how my trip will look, and it just made me that much more excited to go!
Prior to my orientation, each student had to complete an online orientation. This was just three short videos about general study abroad safety-- great reminders about what and how to pack, how to be a tourist in other countries, and where go to for more information both before and during the trip. It took me just about an hour to complete the online portion of orientation. It was a lot of good information in a short period of time that answered many of my questions (like, do I need any special vaccines before going to Italy?).
The International Programs Office is also really good about keeping us students informed and up to date with a checklist of things to complete before the trip. I got my passport renewed over the summer, and students staying for longer trips applied for visas. The International Programs Office took care of booking the flights and hotels for us, so the only portion of the trip I'm responsible for is my passport and suitcase-- a pretty nice way to travel if you ask me!
When I get back from Italy I will start work as a full-time intern at General Mills. I am very excited about this internship, and am glad that my study abroad experience allows me to both travel and work in the same summer!
I can't wait to go abroad-- I'm looking forward to sharing my experience with you when I return!