Predeparture: Packing and Preparation

Rebecca Organ
January 14, 2013

I haven’t even left the country and I’ve already broken one of the rules. I read that we’re supposed to fit everything into one suitcase and one carry-on…I’ve literally halved the amount of stuff I’m bringing and there’s still no way I can reach that limit…oops. I just hope I can fit it all into a taxi from the airport since European cars supposedly have smaller trunk space.

My packing struggles spilled out into the hallway. Parents weren’t too thrilled that I blocked the way to their bedroom.

The packing wasn’t the only part that was harder than I anticipated- there’s a surprisingly large amount you have to do to leave a country for 5 months. I applied for summer internships weeks before they’re due, backed up everything on my cell phone and laptop, got my phone unlocked for international use, looked into how and when to get the best currency exchange rates, ordered one of the European credit card chip things, obtained a 6 month advance for my medication, got permission to legally access my home university’s VPN (virtual private network) out of the US, checked the power requirements and bought adapters and converters for all my electronics, the list goes on.

Now that I’m finally done with everything (hah, I’ll probably wake up tomorrow thinking of another billion things to do), most of the stress and panic is gone and it’s easier to reflect on how I feel about my upcoming trip. Surprisingly, I’m not that nervous. Which is weird, since I’m usually the type to be freaked out about this stuff (especially since I haven’t spoken Spanish in over a year, and could barely understand half of what they were saying when I tried watching a Spanish soap opera the other day).

Instead, now under 24 hours before my plane takes off, my two most prominent emotions are excitement and curiosity. I love traveling and have heard from two other students who have studied in Spain that it has been the best time of their life, and whether or not that is the case for me I’m thrilled to have this opportunity and see what the country has to offer.


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Rebecca Organ

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">My name is Rebecca Organ and I am a junior studying Bioengineering at Rice University in Houston, though I&rsquo;m originally from California. Having taken Spanish throughout high school and for a part of college, I am thrilled to have the chance to put my language skills to use. I am a huge exercise geek, am always looking to try new things, love to take photographs, and can never say no to a good cup of coffee. Though I&rsquo;ve been fortunate enough to travel to a variety of countries such as Peru, Puerto Rico, and India for various service trips, I have never been to Europe, let alone Spain. Needless to say, I&rsquo;m excited!</span></p>

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