The Long Road to Study Abroad During COVID

Eli Mccoy
June 5, 2021

What was originally supposed to take place during the summer of 2020 has since become a journey of trials and tribulations that led me to participate in the IES Abroad London Summer program in 2021. All the way back in late 2019 I made the decision to attempt to study abroad for a summer semester and set my eyes on Dublin for 2020. As we all know, COVID took away virtually all hopes of that coming true and quite nearly dashed any thought of studying abroad out of sight and out of mind. It was not until late 2020 that the idea of studying abroad even seemed plausible again, and even then, my options were heavily reduced from the last time around. Not wanting to have to learn another language I was left with two options: London and Australia. Both places I have always wanted to visit, I eventually made the decision for London after considering how much there was that I wanted to see and learn there. The true process of getting ready to go to London has involved a lot more work than I previously thought.

It all began with the MyIESabroad website: filling out application forms, uploading photos, and putting in information such as vaccination history, medical information, and travel itineraries. In order to get all of this, I was required to get a physical done with the doctor, get the classes I wanted to take approved by my advisors and scan over a handful of important documents to their website. Next came the not required but recommended COVID vaccination. The first shot came at the beginning of April and the last shot came at the end with virtually no side effects. I felt more than prepared for London, however, I still needed to print a variety of papers and get everything sorted with my bank. The first step was letting my bank know where I would be and for how long so that they would not shut my card off while I was there. The next step was going to my bank and having them print me out a bank statement that displayed that I had enough money to survive while in London. After this, the last two necessary documents were the flight itinerary and Standard Visitor Letter. With these documents printed, I just required a few more steps before I was completely ready for travel to London with IES Abroad.

COVID added an entire regimen of requirements that needed to be completed before travel abroad was even possible. The most important was the purchase of PCR COVID tests that will be delivered to the Stay Club in Kentish Town where I will be staying during my time abroad. I purchased the Day 2/Day 8 combo from Assured Screening, and the optional Day 5 test from Fusion Radiology. After this, I set up an appointment with the Greenfield Immediate Care to be tested the Friday before I left with a rapid PCR test. Both the receipts from my test purchases and the results from my Friday test needed to be printed and carried with me alongside the final PRINT ME document from IES Abroad and my Passenger Locator Form. The PCR tests that I purchased gave me codes that I could then input into my Passenger Locator Form ensuring I received my tests upon arrival. With all of this done all that is left to do is pack. 

Packing has never been something I worry too much about and that remains the case for this time around. Thanks to IES Abroad I had a comprehensive list of everything I may need including clothes, toiletries, chargers, electronics, plugs, adapters, school supplies, and so on. I prefer traveling light so I left some space in my checked bag and am only taking one checked bag in the form of my backpack. Before leaving I did purchase a small pack to carry with me around that would hold everything from my passport and vaccination card to the money I may need for that day. After packing all I have left to do is wait and take my flight to London tomorrow evening. I hope to let all of you know just how much there is to do in London and the UK in general and cannot wait to share more.

Eli Mccoy

<p>My name is Eli McCoy, I'm going into my senior year at Indiana University in Bloomington and I'm currently a double major in History and English. I plan on going to Law School after I finish my undergraduate degrees and would like to work in Family Law. In my free time, I have a few hobbies that I am very passionate about and like to spend time on. The first is reading, something that has always been a passion of mine, I try to read somewhere between 15-20 books a year. I'm also a big fan of lifting and MMA, I lift 4-5 times a week and have been training boxing for almost 5 years now. Finally, I love all forms of poetry and love writing it myself in any form. I'm really looking forward to broadening my travels and experiencing a new culture!</p>

Destination:
Term:
2021 Summer 1, 2021 Summer 2
Home university:
Indiana University
Hometown:
Centerville, IN
Major:
History
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