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


Kayla said...

Yay Italy! I had to talk my mom into letting me, she didn't want to have me leave for a year, esp with college coming soon. I think she had talked with people from AFS and we took in an exchange student she was comfortable with the idea of my going and that I would be in good hands. I am so happy you convinced your dad because I can't wait for us to go to ITALY!

Sarah said...

i enjoyed reading this, thanks! i had it pretty easy parent-wise, but my second-guess situation was similar to yours. do you still have your packet? i'd love to see it :]

-sarah (dolly)