Saturday, December 22, 2007

The BEST day ever

Ok so I haven't updated in a while and there is ALOT of exciting stuff has happened to me since the last time I updated.

Ok so the BEST thing that happened to me today was I GOT OFFICIALLY ACCEPTED TO ITALY. So after you apply to a program they send your application to that country (namely Italy) and it is a 4-6 week wait for acceptance. Well the end of my 6 weeks was on December 14th but I had bugged my Application Advisor (Connie Kurtz) so much before that I vowed to wait one week before I called her and asked for any updates on my application. Well today, December 21st, I called Connie today and when she picked up she said " Wow, Kendra I was just about to call you. You have officially been accepted to the Italy Program *insert my scream here* So i see you excited. I will call you again with any new information" Then is my happy dance and my phone call to another exchanger friend (Kayla CONGRATS on being accepted as well) and my continued HAPPY DANCE!!!!!!! Now 2 more times of waiting are next. First I have to wait until a nice Italian family to choose me to have live with them for a year. This could take up until 2 weeks before I leave. I don't think I can wait that long so I hope that my application stands out enough that family's will want to have me live with them. Then the colossal wait until next September 3-6 until I actually get to leave the country. YAY.

The second good thing that happened today is I found out that the AFS group in my town is paying for 10% of my tuition for the program. Now for those of you who don't know AFS is a very expensive program and the current price for Italy for a year is $10100 so 10% is a big deal because that's $1010 and that IS alot of money that I now don't have to raise. YAY. There is a catch however, I will have to write them an essay and have to write them a letter once a month to tell them how I am doing, and do no less then 3 speeches when I get back to tell the town/school/AFS group how my trip went. So even with that I'm so happy and all of the stuff that I have to do will be fun because I am already super obsessed with exchange and Italy so that all will be fun!!!

The last good thing that happened was today is the last day of school before Christmas break!! Some other random things that has happened since I updated last. I got my passport. When I went to get it my dad said that it would take months, two and a half weeks later I get a very official looking package from the Government. When I opened it it was my Passport (with a very horrible picture :( ) but every one said that passport pictures are horrible lol. On a less exciting not that has absolutely nothing to do with Italy but makes me happy is that I got my class ring this week and that makes me happy

Ok so all and all IM SOOOOO EXCITED THAT I'M ACCEPTED!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is the best thing that has happened all year and it is the best Christmas present that I could have ever gotten!! So yea im going to resume my happy dance now, its amazing that I was even able to stop dancing long enough to type this entry.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Convincing Parents

When I first started thinking about study abroad, all I thought I wanted to do was to go to Costa Rica for 3 weeks with my Spanish club at school. I hosted on of the Costa Ricans and i fell in love with their cultures, but when I went to my dad to ask if I could go to Costa Rica during the summer of my Jr. year in High School, he said no. He didn't like the fact that I was going to be going to south America for 3 weeks. I asked him, "If I were in German club would you let me go to Germany my Jr year?" He said that he probably would because he felt more comfortable with me going to Europe. So I started researching other ways I could go to another country.

I had met the AFS students that were at my school, Pink and David, for a year (10 months). So I asked them what program they were here through and they said that they were here thought AFS. So I went to the AFS web sight and, fell in love with all of the different options that they had. They had lots of countries and lots of different amount of times to go. I immediately wanted to go somewhere for a YEAR. Yea, i know it went from a short 3 week trip in the summer after my Jr. year to a 10 month program for the entirety of my Jr. year.

Now the problem: How on earth do I convince my dad to let me go. All I could think was, "If he did not want me to go for 3 weeks he is not going to let me go for 10 months." I knew that my mom would let me go because she would realize how good of an opportunity it was and how much i wanted to go. So I asked her first. She said yes after a few minutes of convincing. I asked her how am I going to convince dad. She said that I should think about it. So I did for weeks when I came to the conclusion that I could make a HUGE packet of information and things to use to convince him to let me go.

Second problem: Where did I want to spend the next year of my life. I knew that my dad would only approve if I went to a European country so that narrowed down my options quite a bit. Next I had to think about languages and if I met the language requirement. Like France had a language requirement, and I never really wanted to learn German and I was already in Spanish in school so I knew that I wanted some thing different then all of that. Immediately I wanted to go to Italy, the culture and the language, OMG the food is basically heaven, or as close as you can get lol. But then i started to second guess my self, I kind of wanted to go to a lesser known country, and i started to really look in to the Czech Republic, Sweden, and Iceland. After a couple of weeks I would change my mind but I would always come back to Italy so I decided to stick with my original choice Italy.

I started to make my my packet and after a couple of weeks I had my packet done and it had every thing from, the current government of Italy, to Pro and Con lists, to a letter I wrote to my Dad. When I finally got up the nerve to give my dad the packet, I was SOOOOOO nervous that I gave it to him and just sat there waiting. He took along time to read it, or maybe it just seemed like along time haha. Well when he did get done, he said that the packet was good but that he would have to think about it. So I waited and just started moving forward with the application and fundraising. He never really ever said "yes" but he didn't say "no" and just kind of accepted it. Those were some of the scariest, most nerve racking weeks.

So then I had my country choice: Italy, and my dad convinced, FULL STEAM AHEAD

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Hey I assume that you know that I'm Kendra and you may or may not know but I am planning on spending my Jr. year of high school in Italy on an AFS exchange program for 10 months. I will be there some time from September 3 - September 6 through some time in early June. I'm so EXCITED about going to Italy.

My application has been in Italy now for about 2 weeks and AFS says that the time frame for finding out if you are accepted is 4-6 weeks. That means that the earliest I can find out is November 22ND and (hopefully) the latest is December 14th. I hope that it is sooner rather then later, but it is more likely that I will find out on the later end of the spectrum. I don't think that I can wait another week and it will be impossible to wait for 3 or possibly more weeks. UGG its sooo hard to wait. Once I find out if I'm accepted then I have to wait 9 months before I can even leave for Italy, and then there is the issue of how I am going to graduate when I come home.

My new class schedule is going to be so bad . I have the WORST second semester this year. I'm a sophmore so I have to take all of my sophomore classes this semester (speech, American heritage 1, English 10) and 4 total Jr. classes but I'm already taking 2 of them this year next year (American Heritage 3, Brit Lit) and I have to take a summer English class. We had this Big meeting with my counselor, the principal, the AFS coordinator, me and my parents. We decideded that I will be able to graduate on time, but i have to take all of those extra classes. That is going to suck so bad but it is SOOOO worth it because i will get to go to Italy for a year and not be in this tiny little town for my Jr. year YAY. I don't know if i will transfer any credits because if I do all of the grades will be counted for my GPA, and all of my grades from Italy are going to be kinda bad considering I do not speak Italian so in the beginning doing homework is going to be impossible. School here i get all A's so my GPA is good so I'm worried that if I transfer my grades from Italy, that my GPA will go way down and that colleges wont even look at my application, but if i don't I will only have the exact minimum number of credits to graduate,24.

People say that when you go on exchange that you mature alot and that when you come back you are WAY more mature then your friends and that you have to make all new friends. I'm so scared for that because I love my friends and I'm scared that we won't be friends and that scares me. I'm afraid that I will miss my friends and my family alot and that I will be so home sick that I will not be able to make any friends or bond with my new family. Ok I'm just kinda scared because this is some thing that i really want to do and now its coming true and kinda the reality of what is happening is setting in