Conversations on Studying Abroad

Pre-Departure: Rolling Out My Suitcase

Aug 25, 2017 5:30:00 PM / by Julie Ritz


Hanna is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2017, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Marketing, Finance, and International Business major at the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities, Carlson School of Management, she is studying abroad in Sydney this semester.

In her first post, Hanna talks about how, despite being well-traveled, she always has to prepare for a new adventure.


Hi there! My name is Hanna and I am your Sydney eyes and ears for this Fall.

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To begin with, being a well-traveled person doesn't mean you can jump on a plane to another country and recklessly lay down…at least not for me. I've been travelling with my family since childhood. The last time I counted I have already visited 27 countries; and some of them even more than once. It still feels that there are just so many things to consider and plan before each trip. What I have learned is that it is worth to be worried and well-prepared, but never stop or give up. All of the issues I have faced while traveling, could have been solved with the help of communication and curiosity. I've learned that other traveling people have most likely been in similar shoes and will be willing to help you figure the way out.

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Anyway, I am very excited to be an official CAPA blogger for the program. My last week was like a countdown. In a moment it feels like like the summer break has passed by so fast. 

Now, just a couple of hours left before leaving for the airport, it's nerve-wracking. I can't believe the whole travel time to Sydney will be about 36 hours; including 2 layovers in Istanbul and Singapore... and I definitely can't imagine having a 13-hour layover in Singapore's airport.

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I was at that airport in Singapore about 10 years ago, so I barely remember anything. My parents told me it was huge, though, and there were plenty of things to do while waiting. Thus, I went to Google and searched. Indeed, Changi airport in Singapore has just too many things to do: movie theaters, a swimming pool, a butterfly garden, a sunflower garden, an entertainment deck, and even a free 2.5 guided tour to of the city. I think I won't suffer there...just maybe my bank card will. I will make sure to take some cute pictures while there to share with you!

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Let’s go back a few days. One of the biggest parts of every trip is packing, which is just like “Mission Impossible” for me. I'll admit, for a girl, it is extremely hard to pack my clothing. In my experience there are at least 2 items in my suitcase that I won't wear a single time. Still, every time I'm packing I just can't overcome the idea that "I might need it". I have traveled a lot in my life, but every time is still scary, especially If you are traveling by yourself. I am always afraid of forgetting something important. I'm sure this isn't new, but making a list when packing is very helpful, as is asking other's opinions. For me, my mom's encouragemet helps (and sometimes my dog), who is always assisting me. This time, I think I was able to organize and fit in only necessities in my luggage.  

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Nevertheless, being extremely nervous and exhausted from packing, I am alsol very excited to arrive in Sydney, meet my group mates, and get ready for adventures. I'm sure this is going to be a great semester with many new opportunities for all of us. As for now, I wish everyone a safe and enjoyable flight.

Thanks Hanna!

Hanna's journey continues every Friday so stay tuned.

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Topics: Sydney, Australia, Predeparture & Study Abroad Preparations