The anticipation for a trip is something people experience often. Usually when I know I have a trip coming up, a week or so prior I get anxious, excited, and stressed all at once. This time however, as I am preparing to leave for London for 5 weeks, these feelings all at once have been with me for a while.
Participating in a study abroad trip with my university is a shared aspiration I have with many of my counterparts. Ever since I knew studying abroad was an option, I knew it was something I wanted to do. Thanks to my school Baylor University and Millennium Tours who specialize in international study abroad trips, my dream is coming true.
I sit here now as I write this with about 50 hours left until the plane wheels are up and I am across the pond in London. I am thinking about all the emotions students, including myself, must be feeling right now. I know I am nervous to go outside my comfort zone but also so thrilled to be embarking on this adventure.
As each day makes this trip closer and closer, I have added more to my to-do list. Things such as getting an international mobile plan, getting my debit card to work abroad, organizing for classes and the best/worst part, packing.
What I highly recommend is getting packing cubes. I got my packing cubes on Amazon for about 25 dollars, and it made packing a lot more efficient. Not only was I able to fit more clothes and other necessities in my suitcases because of the packing cubes, but they also allow you to see all the clothes you’re bringing to make everything easier to access.
Your most important items such as electronics or medications should go in your carry-on bag with you on the plane. It is one thing to lose a bag of clothes, it’s another to lose things that are very expensive or impossible to replace. A friendly reminder… it’s a long flight so pack some snacks and download some movies on your streaming apps!
A great tip my mom gave me is to spread out everything you need into all your bags in case one bag gets lost for a few days. For example, make sure each bag has complete outfits in it so you are not left with only a bag of tops. Also, if you are anything like me, I know I am going to shop while I am there and get souvenirs. Another tip is to try to save some room for things you will buy there and not have to compromise!
When it comes to being organized for classes before going, I recommend you print out the syllabi and any other documents provided. I also got a notebook strictly for this trip whether I use it for class, doodling, journaling or random note jotting, having a notebook to carry around with you will be very helpful. It’s also important to stay organized on your laptop or other electronics you have. I like using google drive and making folders for each class and also using my ipad for notes and calendars.
At the end of the day, taking the time to feel organized with packing, classes and just your overall preparedness of going abroad is really important. Leaving for the airport as prepared as possible will allow you to have a more relaxed start to your trip. One of my biggest reminders I give myself not just in this situation but in life is, you can only control what you can control. Be in control of everything you can while preparing for your trip and while experiencing the adventure and let the things out of your control fall into place.
This experience is supposed to be the time of our lives, so preparing for it in the best ways will set you up for what is all to come. I am excited to be writing about my study abroad journey with Millennium Tours not only to look back on them, but also to bring advice and stories to anyone reading!