Pre-departure reflections

Lucas Smith (University of Massachusetts, Amherst). 

It is strange to think this time two years ago I was at a point in my life where I was about to leave all I knew and that was familiar as I left high school for The University of Manchester. Now I seem to be in similar position, as I set out to cross the pond and touch down in Massachusetts next Tuesday. I have taken time this summer to work and see family and friends before my departure. However, now as all my jobs are being ticked off, the goodbyes have been said and other students are leaving on placements, the wait is becoming unbearable. Once again the feeling is strange and slightly unnerving, yet if I have learned anything from the last two years is that the experience will be truly amazing.

Even before I was confirmed a place at Manchester I had been interested in the overseas opportunities available. Now with only matter of days before my departure to the University of Massachusetts, the start of the application process seems a long way in the past. The journey has not been simple and has thrown up all kinds of challenges to be tackled at various stages. These ranged from the anxiety of trying to secure a place at my desired accommodation, to completing the ‘mission impossible’ of obtaining a U.S Visa. However, I am now very happy to report that I have all my paperwork in order, dollars in my wallet and transport arranged to Amherst. Short of attempting to cram my life into one suitcase and a backpack, I believe I am finally ready to set out on this trip that has been two years in the making! All that there is left to say is: Goodbye Manchester! Thank you for two amazing years, and hello Amherst!

Please keep reading as I document my time abroad.

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