Hey guys! I guess I’ll start with introductions: My names Teejay Hughes and I’m from St. Louis, MO. The University of Missouri-Kansas City is the college I attend in America, but currently I’m studying abroad in a country named Malta—a tiny island smack dab in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. You’re probably wondering why you’ve never heard of this country. It’s most likely because there are only 400,000 people that live on the island and declared independence from the UK less then 100 years ago; but don’t underestimate this little country! It’s packed with natural & cultural beauties, and they even have their own language called Maltese (and no it’s not barking).
For the 2014-2015 academic year, I was selected as a recipient of the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship, and thus far it’s been an experience of a lifetime. The official degree I’m pursuing in America is Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing and Finance. I’ve always had a passion for anything international, and it’s one of the main reasons I’ve chose to study aboard. That’s why if you asked me what I study, I’d shorten my degree and tell you “International Finance and Marketing.” I like to think studying aboard for a year lets me play around with the degree name. For the next few months I’ll be making a series of video blogs and written prompts. I’m going to be telling you about my ups, downs, and everything in between!
Let’s start out with a simple question: Did you feel anxious before leaving for your program? If so, what were you nervous about?
Pre-departure anxieties would seem to be a massive thought, but oddly I was cool and collected until I arrived in Europe. The University of Malta didn’t start till October 1st, so I had plenty of time to pack and prepare myself for my upcoming year. My school year ended all the way back in May, so there has really been no rush at all. The most stressful aspect to me was getting my financials in order (figures, I’m a finance major). Dealing with credit cards, scholarships, and debt cards take day to weeks to months to get tasks completed, so I made sure I started early.
Besides finances, the only other forms of pre-departure stress was fitting one years worth of clothing into two luggages and two carry-ons. There’s something you have to know about me: I love clothes. My clothes are me. So trying to fit my entire being into four bags was very complicated… The process I used to packing lasted about one week. It goes as followed:
Step 1: Wash everything
Step 2: Sort clothes into season (Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer)
Step 3: Research which season will be in the country
Step 4: One-by-one go through each season making a Yes, No, and Maybe pile
Step 5: Pack up No pile, and repeat step 4 for other seasons
Step 6: Grab a friend and go through the Yes pile. (A friend that cares about clothes as much as you do)
Step 7: Together go through your maybe pile being very critical with each Yes and No.
Step 8: Try to pack all the Yes items.
Step 9: Understand you’re going to buy clothes there. So don’t cry when you have to take out the heaviest items.
Well guys, that’s the end of Blog post 1. I’ll leave you with some of the amazing views in Malta that I’ve captured.
Cheers, Teejay Hughes.