Pre-Departure Day, Count Down

Heidi He
May 27, 2022

May 26th. There is less than a day left before departure. Only fifteen hours left to be exact. I stared at the mess I needed to sort out on the floor of my dorm, and the half way packed suitcase, not wanting to continue packing, and not knowing how I should feel about the upcoming two months of foreign sojourn. Excitement and confusion, anticipation and fear?

One day in February, I received an email from my school and was attracted by the words "internship abroad"—as of February, I had already submitted my resume for six months, but I had not heard anything. I went to the info session and submitted my application, and I received an email from the school soon after. The email informed me that I had been offered the opportunity. I felt unreal.

I had never been to Europe before, but since this was my fourth year of handling my life alone in a foreign country, adapting was no longer new to me. I was more afraid of something going wrong that could fail my trip than of the upcoming unfamiliar life, the unfamiliar places, the foreign language on the signs, and the foreign words coming out of the mouths of unfamiliar faces. I had already lost the opportunity to study in Japan once in my freshman year, not again.

During these three months, I checked every single task in my to-do list, such as visa application, trip confirmation, accommodation, resume revision, mock interview, final interview, orientation, etc. I was very excited and nervous. I stumbled a lot on the way, but I stumbled to this last step. Tomorrow is the day of departure.

As an incoming senior, the next step for me is to find a job in the incoming recruiting season. I'm looking forward to learning a lot from this internship at the tech startup I am going to intern at. The IES Abroad Vienna Internship Program is an excellent opportunity for me, because I have always been looking forward to studying or working abroad in a new culture during my undergraduate studies. As a first-generation college student and the first student to study abroad in the U.S. in my family, the change I felt after coming to the U.S. was huge. After studying in the U.S. for three years, I gained more understanding of American culture, and I also understood my native culture deeper through the transition between two cultures. Impressed by how much the academic and working environments vary from culture to culture, I became interested in exploring unfamiliar cultures and meeting people from different backgrounds. I am looking forward to learning more about European culture in the IES Abroad Vienna Internship Program.

I cannot wait to start a new chapter in my life, meeting new friends and traveling around Europe!

More Blogs From This Author

View All Blogs