Read & Listen:
Bist Du Down – Ace Tee & Kwam.e
Being an introvert and abroad is already a scary component, but being Black and an introvert is something that freaks me out a little. I will note that I am of lighter complexion, and I have heard a few times (from other black ppl) that I will be fine because my skin is so light. I will also note that being Black and abroad, although not totally popular, has already been done multiple times. I am (and will in the future) relate my experiences preparing for going abroad and actually being abroad to being Black almost as much as being an introvert and having a high level of social anxiety. However, for the sake of having a semi-original entitled series of posts and videos abroad, I am naming this Introvert Abroad (while being black abroad is strongly implied).
I’ve been wanting a write a post for a long time. I have thirty (yes, 30) drafted posts, but I can never get myself to finish them. So I’ve decided to write about something that could come to me more easily, something that I think about every single day because the time is approaching– I’m going abroad.
Separated in categories, here is everything pertaining to studying abroad for a year that has been reeling in my head every single day.
I want to speak up more. Where I am going, Swiss people speak Swiss-German, which actually is hardly the same to German-German, but I have heard that Swiss people still know German really well. I want to have the confidence and the courage to practice my German on them.
The best thing about Europe is that everything is near each other. Not only that, but the cultures are so different. I want to be able to experience that. The only thing, though, is that I won’t be working, and that costs MONEY, and right now I don’t have time to work because I am at two unpaid internships. So… I’ll have to figure that out.
I need to learn how to depend on me. I’ve been doing it this summer very well, but also I go to school here, so it’s not like there is an added component of being in an uncomfortable environment. I know one person that goes to school there, and I really hope that I do not cling to her. Because what if she, I don’t know, wants to hang out with her friends? I don’t want to feel completely lost and shattered that I now don’t have anyone to hang out with.
Joining clubs is kind of essential to study abroad in my opinion. That is like the quickest way to make friends, and you have something to do after class when you’re in that awkward stage of not having friends quite yet. I’m thinking of trying out for volleyball, which is like the craziest idea I could ever have because I do not have hand-eye coordination. My reflex is to duck, but I’ve really wanted to know how to play and be on a volleyball team for a long time– like, elementary school long time. Also, if they have swimming lessons, sign me up.
I know it will happen in the beginning, but I just want to pull the Band-Aid off. I’m scared of feeling totally lost and alone when I’m there. And like I know it will happen.
Being without a signal on my phone is something that really freaks me out. We still don’t have my cell phone situation figured out for when I’m away, and there are so many options. I could switch to T-Mobile, I could get a new phone, I could get one of those Swiss phone lines, I could get texting apps and just rely on me finding wifi. However, each of those options has a setback, especially if I want to travel out of the country. So… yeah we need to get that checked, because the last thing I want is to be in Italy, completely lost, and my Google Maps won’t work.
I get that burning feeling in the center of my body when I don’t take a chance that I knew I should have. It’s like I am pushing myself to do it, but I’m also pulling myself back, and that middle ground makes my body just burn. So I really want to take more chances when I’m away. Not dangerous shit, but also like… My mom keeps saying she better not find out I skated over a lake in the winter… but I kind of want to put that on my risk-taking list.
The two biggest things that I have to get done are almost complete: flights and visa. We have a flight picked out, but we haven’t bought anything yet. And I already turned in everything for my visa! Now I just have to wait.
Winter clothes are a thing that I’m not sure if I should buy here and shove it in my suitcase/wear it on the plane, or wait until it actually gets cold.
So I recently found out that getting a bank account is actually super hard for Americans in Switzerland. It definitely doesn’t seem like that in all the Hollywood movies. I need to figure that one out somehow. My mom sent me links that I haven’t looked at yet about it.
No explanations here: clean streets, trains that are on time, and the scenery.
Another big thing I am looking forward to is learning!!! Learning about myself, about art history, and learning more (Swiss)German.
I mean, like a lot of people, I like feeling comfortable. I like being around people I know, with streets that I recognize and food places that I frequent.
I’ll also be missing a diverse crowd. I don’t really have anything left to say on that.
Being too young to drink was something that I was totally fine with, until this past semester when I actually started to leave my dorm room. I feel like such a child, and at my internship almost all of my friends are 21+ years old. -__- So honestly I can’t wait.
The American political climate can stay right where it is. Thank you.
This will (hopefully) be the first of many posts as I get back into the groove of things for this summer. Thanks for waiting if you were. Sorry for the delay. I hope you enjoyed it! Got any study abroad advice because I desperately need it.