Monday, December 7, 2009

Pre-Departure Orientation Meeting

I'm 36 days from taking off from North Texas and arriving the following day in London!!! While I'm super excited, I'm started to get more and more worried about how I'm going to pack everything in one or two suitcases! I have to take internship clothes and travel/touring clothes, and of course my Kappa sweatpants to lounge around in (don't worry, I won't be lounging much).

Tonight, we had our Pre-Departure Orientation meeting. I was hoping to get a packing list, but instead we got a "Don't Bring These Items" list. Like hairdryers and straighteners. Apparently, even if you use a converter, your US haircare appliances will melt (our bald program director said he's seen a flat, melted curling iron). So we're supposed to buy haircare appliances and all our products over there! Except your contact solution, which is supposedly more expensive in the UK.

We're were instructed to start reading travel books so that we have some ideas of what we'd like to see, otherwise we'll be too overwhelmed. Also, part of the cultural change that we should be expecting is that tipping practices are different--Americans are reportedly more generous than the Brits.

My apartment (which I still don't have the exact flat number for or do I know who my roommates will be) is supposed to come with cooking supplies (I'm assuming pots & pans), but I'll have to buy plates, cups, silverware, etc. Also, all of our flats will have WiFi, washers and some will have dryers! Hopefully I'll be a lucky one with a dryer! I did manage to Google Map my address and they had a street view (see photo below)!! It's so cute and it makes it all the more real that I'm actually going when I can see what my flat looks like from the street!

Our apartments are 10-15 minute walk from the CAPA building where our classes are held. I've found out that our classes will be Monday afternoon and Friday morning so that we'll be able to travel from and back to London Friday afternoon and Monday morning!! We'll be doing our internship Tuesdays through Thursdays. We found out the MU Professor who is going to be traveling and teaching us, and apparently he's been the London Internship Program Professor multiple times so he knows the ins and outs of London. I don't know him yet but I might try to meet him before the semester is over.

I received my Visa over Thanksgiving Break so that's a huge relief. Now I'm just waiting to see what internship I'll be matched with! Several (6-7) kids in my program already know their placements so hopefully I'll know soon! My internship placement and packing are all I have left standing in my way before jetting off on my spring adventure!

Until next time,

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Anxiously Waiting...

Today I mailed in my UK Visa Application to the British Consulate (envelope to the right weighed almost a pound)!!! After completing my part-time job of putting this visa together (going to St. Louis for fingerprints, getting multiple packages from home, and many calls to CAPA [the educational institution in charge of my program] with questions), I get to wait to see if I'm approved!

Now I move onto my Health & Safety Orientation Thursday night and start packing! Knowing that I have 55 days until I go makes me a bit nervous! But several of my friends spent the summer in London so they've been filling me in on things to do, places to visit, and cultural differences. My uncle is also doing to the same thing--and he'll be visiting me in February!

All of the kids in my program will be completing internships with various companies in London as well as taking a class on British Life and Culture and a Journalism Seminar. According to our program director (who addresses us as a group as "London interns"), CAPA has started working on placing us! We'll be hearing about internship interviews soon!

We also got our address for London but not our specific apartment number. I've already Google mapped the address and it looks like a cute area of town. It's in South Kensington and my friends tell me it's a fun area of town too! I'll find out soon enough!

Until next time,

Monday, November 2, 2009

71 days: Mid-Visa Application

I have to have a United Kingdom Visa to intern in London. That requires an application that could be a part-time job for a week or so. Right now, I'm about halfway through that process.

The online (easy) part is done. Now it's time to assemble all the random paperwork, my passport and an official transcript from Mizzou. Also, I have to travel to St. Louis for a Biometrix Finger Scan (a scan of my hand). Then I send off my application to the Consulate and nervously wait for it to be approved!

Once my Visa application is finished, then the fun begins:: packing! Maybe I should finish the semester and Finals first though...

Until next time,