Four days before my departure and the feeling of being away from family and friends for 14 weeks is starting to sink in. The stress from finals and pre-departure arrangements put this thought in the back of my mind. Now that finals are over I’ve been able to think about my trip and the experiences I plan to gain. My case is a little special. I will be participating in the China: Global Food and Trade Maymester program in addition to a six week research internship in China. The good thing is that I will be entering China with my peers but once the study abroad program is over they will leave. I play in my head over and over how the departure from my family will occur. Will I cry? Will my parents cry? Wil I be able to stop the tears? Will people be wondering who is this baby walking through the terminals crying her eyes out? I didn’t think any of this would have occurred until I went to Costa Rica Thanksgiving Break 2012 fighting to hold back the tears as I went through security. Who knows, traveling to China may be a different story.

On to a better topic. I’ve also been preparing for my trip by ensuring I have the necessary medications, vaccinations, visa etc. I visited the Allergy and Travel Clinic at UHC Health Center to receive my Hepatitis A vaccine, typhoid prescription, and ciproflaxin to fight against any water borne bacterial infections. Access to money was also a topic that surfaced. I decided to carry some cash (in China’s currency) and withdraw money from the bank periodically. Although I will get charged to withdraw, I feel more comfortable not carrying wads of cash on me in a foreign country. It also helps to make a list of what I need prior to packing to insure that NOTHING is left behind. I’ll let you know how many bags I end up taking. Right now, my estimate is three 🙂 (no judging).

I do not know how I am going to survive the 14 hour flight to Seoul, South Korea (our connection flight). I can barely make a 5 hour flight to California. My mother has suggested books, magazines, puzzles…There’s only so much a girl can do! I’ll let you guys know how that goes!

That’s all I have for now,

Charnae Ross

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