Sunday, March 2, 2008

A Saga of Woe and Triumph: Applying to Study Abroad

Just a little story for you.
Once upon a time, a girl dreamed she would go to New Zealand to study abroad in the fall. She studied and researched and thought and thought and finally decided that the University of Otago was her destination of choice. She had a few options now: go through a program or directly enroll? She thought that going through a program would be much less stressful, and make it easier to meet people. So she looked at the programs. The top two were through a company called AustraLearn and through Arcadia University. The AustraLearn program appeared to be a bit cheaper, so she picked that one. She applied ridiculously early - the deadline was in April but she applied in January! It took a while for AustraLearn to tell her they got her materials, but she thought that was probably okay. Finally on January 31, and e-mail arrived! They had gotten all her materials and would let her know if she got accepted in two weeks! This seemed like a long time, but she spent it being excited and later, getting impatient. Especially when more than two weeks passed. At exactly 3 weeks later, a new e-mail arrived. But this e-mail was confusing, and was accompanied by a voicemail message. It said that AustraLearn had not received any of her application materials! This was indeed upsetting and frustrating. The woman at the office said the previous e-mail had been a mistake. This was unbelievable! The girl called her mom. Her mom said she could not go through AustraLearn anymore. The girl cried, and then doubted that she wanted to go to New Zealand after all. But then she thought some more. Then she realized she really did still want to go. And she applied to the Arcadia program. Shortly afterwards, a woman from the Arcadia office called her just to see if she had questions! This was a pleasant change. The application was due March 15 - about two weeks away. But she got everything in before the end of February, and her professor understood and wrote her a new recommendation quickly. Now she is simply waiting to hear from Arcadia, and is feeling much better about going to New Zealand.

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