My name is Kalliope Craft and I am a junior elementary education major. This semester, I will be in Jyvaskyla, Finland studying the culture and Finnish primary education. I move into my apartment in the city on August 28th with a couple French women and as far as I know I’m one of two Americans attending the university this semester.
Oh my goodness it’s so close I can taste it. There’s so many emotions. So much to do.
Sadness: The hardest thing about leaving the country to go on an adventure is leaving behind the things that mean the most to you – the people. I am leaving behind my family, my friends, my boyfriend, everyone. I will be isolated in a new world. Leaving is hard, and until this week, I hadn’t realized that the beginning of this adventure is the putting-on-hold of another.
Relief: Thankfully, a student at my new school did her own study abroad trip to Emporia last semester so I will have a familiar face. I will be met as soon as I get to Jyvaskyla by a student tutor who will be there to help me get comfortable. I’ve already met one of my new roommates through facebook and I have a feeling we will get along really well. And lastly, I was just told today that I’ve been matched with a Finnish Friendship Family and I’m so excited to meet them. They are a family in the town I will be living with with three children and I will be able to learn so much from them about what “normal” looks like in Finland. So, even though I’m leaving behind amazing people, I am so relieved to know that I will meet so many more amazing people from the moment I step foot on foreign ground.
Anxiety: What if I get so overwhelmed that I give up? Nothing will be familiar. The weather will be strange, the culture will be strange, the school will be strange. The city speaks Finnish, my roommates are French, and as far as I can tell, there’s only one other American going to the school at all. What if it’s all too weird? What if I run out of money? What if I get lost? What if my stuff gets lost? No one likes to face these thoughts but it is something I have to battle with. I have faith God’s watching over me. I really believe everything will be okay. But there is so much that could go wrong, and there’s even a chance that I’m in too far over my head and I just won’t like it.
Excitement: I have dreamt of traveling the world since I was in about fifth grade. I’ve had it in my head I would study abroad to Finland since junior or senior year of high school. One of the things I inherited from my Slytherin mom is the drive to realize my dreams. To make the world my own and make what I want happen. I said I would do this, and now I’m doing it. In 6 days, this dream I’ve had locked in my dream vault will no longer just be a dream, it will be happening.
So anyways, that’s just a glimpse of the emotional rollercoaster that is preparing to study abroad. I know it won’t get anymore stable any time soon, but I also know it will be okay.
Between packing, making sure the bank knows I’m going, figuring out what to do about my cell phone, I’ve had a lot of final detail things to take care of this week. I’ve also got a lot of people to say “see ya later” to. So far I’ve only cried about it once, but it is only Tuesday.
The bulging Christmas box that is my future is about to burst open and I really hope what’s inside is beautiful. Six more days. And then Finland is my home.
“There are no limits to what you can achieve on your journey through life, except in your mind.” ― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart
Originally posted on Everyday Adventures.