Hi everyone! Welcome to my blog. My name is Whitney, and I’m a junior at the University of Richmond, majoring in International Studies with a concentration in World Politics and Diplomacy. I’m so glad you’ve decided to follow my adventure to Europe –University College Maastricht (UCM) in Maastricht, the Netherlands, to be exact. You may be wondering, “Why the Netherlands?” When looking at all of the options UR has to offer– and there are a lot– Maastricht seemed like a good fit. It’s located in Europe, so I will have the opportunity to travel. I also knew that I wanted to be able to take unique classes that would count towards my major. Since I’ve traveled outside of the country before (to Central/South America and Spain), I knew I wanted to go somewhere that I had not already been. Also, Maastricht seems like a quaint place to be. In short, UCM and Maastricht seems like a good place for me. As the title of this posts suggests, it is indeed the final countdown. The title was inspired by the song entitled The Final Countdown by the band Europe. My journey begins exactly one week from today.
While the majority of my fellow classmates started their semester two weeks ago, I’ve been making several “to-do” lists and attempting to pack enough of my life to last me four months. You may be wondering what is on some of my lists. Passport? Check. Insulated waterproof jacket for rainy days? Check. Camera? Definitely a check (there will definitely be pictures in future posts). Residence permit? Half of a check (I’ve completed half of the necessary paperwork, but the remaining information has to be filled out in person after my arrival in The Netherlands). Exchange my money to Euros (the currency used in the majority of Europe)? No. That and laundry are at the top of my “to-do” list for Monday. Overall, packing has proven to be slightly more difficult than expected. I didn’t realize how much stuff I use on a daily basis. Fortunately, I received a very good tip: “Pack half as much stuff as you think you may need and twice as much money”. I’ll definitely keep that in mind as I finish packing.
As I mentioned earlier, I have one week left to prepare for my study abroad experience. I’m excited and nervous at the same time. I think I’m extremely anxious to live, learn, and experience a new culture. I hope you all will continue to follow my posts. The next time you hear from me, I’ll be in The Netherlands!