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Most people usually know where their lives are going, what they are going to do tomorrow, the next day, or the next week. Some people like to plan ahead and know what they will be doing next year or in the next four years. However, for an exchange student, life is often both uncertain and interesting. I have especially been finding the next month to be more uncertain than ever. The reason for this is that I will have finished classes! My exams will be done less than a month from now and trying to decide my plans for when I’m done feels like deciding where to go to college. I have a multitude of choices, all of which would end up to be excellent decisions. Should I work, or travel? Where should I work, or where should I travel? Can I do both? At the same time, or separately? Go home for Christmas, or take advantage of the time I can spend here? Hundreds of different choices and all would be fun. In a month from now, I could be here working a job still or on the other side of the world. Fortunately, I enjoy uncertainties such as this and thrive on being spontaneous. I take each day and week as they come and deal with what I need to deal with. While my family would certainly love to know if I am coming home in November/December or not, they will just need to wait to find out.
Exchange students are usually the type of students who deal well with such uncertainties. Some it turns out only planned their exchanges a month or so before they ended up leaving to go to the other side of the world. However, some are more of the long-term planners. There are several exchange students who started the application process for junior year while they were still freshman, and at some universities that was required. So whether you are an long-term planner or a just day-by-day sort of person study abroad is possible and you will find likeminded people as well. For me, before going abroad, while at GW, I went to meet with my study abroad advisor about the possibility of going abroad two semesters later. By the time our meeting had finished I was pretty well certain I would be abroad in less than three months on a program that no GW student had ever participated in before. It’s a scary thought, but so worth it. Every experience I have had has been wonderful and I would never change my abroad experience. I’m sad to know that it will end in less than a month, but also super excited to be finished with school again and have a nice long break!!