First on the list- Social Entrepreneur Corps through UConn! So, about a month from today we will all be packing up to head off to Miami and then Guatemala City, with supposedly speedy transport to Antigua upon our arrival. Most of us will be going down in a group via American Air at 5:55am, which will be an experience in itself with 13 people. There’s been a lot of preliminary steps and events going on, two orientations, filling out forms regarding housing and experiences for Social Entrepreneur Corps, and meeting with Ed Satell. Mr. Satell was gracious and generous enough to provide all committed participants with scholarships upwards of $2,500 to ease the financial burden associated with studying abroad, particularly in the summer when costs are in addition to those during the typical semester. Given the scholarship, the experience has become extremely affordable, particularly for the nine credits we will earn by the end.
I’m trying to strategically make a packing list such that I won’t bring too much but won’t fall short of necessities. Everyone that studies abroad complains of packing too much, or tell stories of how others regretted what they chose to pack- especially with electronics. While I would love to bring my 13lb massive Alienware laptop with me, I’m not sure I’d enjoy the burden of taking care of it. That led to my decision to invest in a smaller Asus Transformer Book T100 for the sake of weight, battery life, and compatibility with programs such as powerpoint and excel. I’ll get back to everyone on whether this was the best choice for abroad, in comparison to a netbook or chromebook. I’m hoping that aside from that I’ll only need my camera, despite my love for my Kindle Paperwhite and Galaxy S4. I’m not sure if I’ll end up bringing my phone- I’d like to have it in the airport but not so much when we arrive.
With a month to go, nerves haven’t kicked in yet, but I’m sure they will as I’m faced with learning Spanish essentially from scratch. The extent of my Spanish education ended after Latin became an option a quarter into sixth grade. I’m not worried about the writing or grammar as much as I am about speaking, which is the most important part. Overall, I’m looking forward to this experience as I’m sure the rest of this year’s group is! It’ll be one that we will remember forever and never regret having participated in, that I am sure of.
I hope to update this blog weekly before, during (both trips), and for awhile after the trip leading up to the Social Entrepreneur Corps in Guatemala Symposium that we are all required to present at. Thanks for reading!