Last Friday in America

Hi everyone,
This past week has been beyond hectic. I leave for Morocco in two days! I’ve spent the week seeing as many friends as I can, and I’ve also been cleaning out my room at home. It’s surprising how much junk collects in a room you haven’t cleaned empty since…1994! But everything is basically in order now, and I am actually just packing my checked luggage with winter clothing. It’s in the high 40s and low 50s F, which isn’t as bad as I had originally thought, but it still kind of stinks to have to bring heavy winter clothing as well as lighter wear for May and June.

I’ve got my HTH insurance certificate printed out, called my bank to let them know I’ll be out of the country, and am picking up a bunch of Moroccan dirhams at an exchange in Bellevue tomorrow. My school expenses for the semester are, for the most part, all paid in full. It was about $5,500 for tuition, room, and a meal plan from January to May. Same as going to the UW; direct exchanges are DEFINITELY an affordable way to study abroad and also get UW credit while you’re away.

As my departure date looms right over the horizon, I am mixed with novel feelings. It hasn’t quite hit me yet, that I will not see a Washington license plate, a UW t-shirt (except for my own), or any of my friends for half a year. Although my program only runs until mid-May, I will be continuing on afterwards. The plan is to make my way to Turkey via Spain, France and Europe, and then afterwards fly to western China to backpack with an old friend as long as our savings last. In truth, I most likely won’t be back in the US for at least 8 months. I don’t know if I’ve ever anticipated anything as eagerly, but that is tempered by the fact that, to be honest, I am scared. Mostly scared of having to find a “real” job when I return, but also of being homesick or spending too much money.

Some quick facts about Al Akhawayn University: 1,700 students, 10% international students. 40% international faculty. 20 residence halls and 3 dining services. That’s about all I’ve got! The next time I post I’ll be halfway across the world…I can’t wait to start taking some pictures and putting them up to see!