Getting ready to study abroad
How I found out all the important information to organize my program:
The decision was made. I was studying abroad in the south of Spain for one semester.
Seville was waiting for me! It was time to start gathering information, planning things, and I didn’t even know where to start. After going crazy I decided to talk to a friend that had been abroad the year before in Seville, too. She gave me the contact of Spanish Institute for Global Education, as I told you in the first “episode”. From the time I called them I could see the light at the end of the tunnel.
The first recommendation they made was to contact the Study Abroad office of my home University and inform them about my plans. It is key to have very clear information from your home university before going abroad. Make sure you will get the credits you want to get during the semester. In my case, they organized everything through Spanish Institute so it was very easy.
Then, it is time to start reading and filling in tons of papers. Take it easy and read through every word very carefully so you don’t miss any little piece of information. It is going to be time-consuming but it is worth it. If you get all the information and all the papers right from day one you will avoid having surprises on the way.
You will have to organize your program at the university, the housing and the visa documents. It could be a lot but I have great news… Spanish Institute was helping me with EVERYTHING! They organized my housing with a Spanish family they’ve known for years. I am lactose intolerant and they made sure the family knew about it to get ready before my arrival. They were willing to adapt the diet of the family to my restrictions. That was so sweet!
About the University, they guided me in every step but don’t forget that you are always responsible for making sure that the credits you do are accepted by your University. The Study Abroad office and Spanish Institute were essential help for me in this process. The Academic director helped me a lot to make my final decisions during the “Add and drop” period once I was already in Seville. ¡Gracias Mª José!
They also guided me in every step I needed to take to get my visa. The most important thing I would recommend is that you take into consideration the appointment at the consulate. Plan everything with plenty of time to meet the deadlines. A friend of mine left that for the last minute and she couldn’t get the appointment in time!!
My program also included a Health Insurance Policy so I didn’t have to worry about that at all. Make sure you have one. I never needed it for anything really important but I had to go to the doctor’s once. I was participating in a Solidarity Race organized by the University and I had a little accident.
The first thing I did was to call my Spanish mum and the Spanish Institute staff to ask where to go. They gave me the address and my Spanish mum came with me to the clinic. Everything was so easy. When I arrived there they did a check-up, x –ray…and all the test they needed. In the end it was just a sprained ankle but I was so happy I had my insurance.
Having organized all these I could say that I was ready, my program was already arranged. It was time to get my ticket for the flight and pack. Getting the flight ticket was easy but packing was another story… a story I will tell you about on the next “episode”.