Following the Bing Overseas Studies Program’s (BOSP) decision to cancel its Kyoto program for spring quarter, the University has formulated alternative plans for students who planned to spend the term in Japan.
Four weeks, four countries, six airplanes, one bus, 40+ hours of travel time. Couple that with class Monday through Thursday, a full workload (maybe not a full Stanford workload, but still) and the Madrileño tendency to stay out until 7 o’clock in the morning when partying, and you have my schedule for last month in a nutshell. February may be the shortest month of the year, but that didn’t stop me from packing as many travel endeavours into its 28 days as possible.
But aside from a fear of flying and airline regulations, the one emotion I felt more than any other was, believe it or not, pressure. I realized that rarely ever had I encountered a person who did not say that their abroad experience was the most amazing time of their life, and I remember thinking, What if I don’t have a great time? What if I come back thinking my past three months abroad were just so-so?
Stanford hopes to develop a study abroad program in the Middle East within the next few years, said Robert Sinclair, Robert Burke Family director of the Bing Overseas Study Program. The Bing Program plans to first implement a three-week summer seminar in the region, hopefully in summer 2012, and establish a center and a more extensive program at a future time.
I had to go looking for Spain. In preparing for the trip, I had worked so hard to cover all my bases—to plan ahead for imminent contingencies, to have all the scraps and bits and bones of America in my suitcase and at an arm’s reach—that I almost missed the country I had to come live in…