сряда, 27 април 2011 г.

[Insert Philadelphia joke here]

I was really tempted to make an It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia reference in the title of this post but I resisted the urge (read: got lazy) and am going to try to be serious for two minutes.

These past couple of days I've been desperately trying to get rid of my bad habit of falling asleep late at night. So last night I'm really optimistic about this new goal and go to close my laptop at 12 A.M. and start dreaming of YouTube stars when I notice that I have an email. It's the BYLP program again, telling me they've received an invitation for me... from UPenn. UPENN! Like, in University of Pennsylvania, the fifth best school in the nation and twelfth in the world?

I feel like I should include a disclaimer here. I am not bragging about my being accepted at UPenn, mainly because I find it really hard to believe that someone like me could be taken seriously as an applicant, let alone as a student there. I believe the BYLP team members are the ones responsible for that opportunity and I have little to do with the whole thing. I just think I got incredibly lucky and, upon arriving there, will just be begging everyone around to please, please let me enjoy this while I can.

Which is not exactly that much - it's only a year, after all. It's not like I'll have the opportunity to stay there. I'm simply a guest student - I won't get any credits, won't obtain a degree of any sort. I'm just going to be there for the experience. And because the BYLP Program is paying for everything. Seriously, those guys rock.

неделя, 10 април 2011 г.

Eerie Indiana?

So I got accepted to Indiana University of Pennsylvania this week. I was going absolutely crazy waiting for that letter to come already and finally knowing my placement is a huge relief. But it wouldn't be me if something didn't almost screw me over.

How I got to be informed that I would be going to IUP next year was a rather interesting story. I was notified that I would receive news about the university on April 1st with the possibility of a delay. My friend got hers on April 4th and I was still oblivious. So when April 8th came around I got sick of waiting and asked my program manager if there was some sort of problem. She replied to me about an hour later telling me that they did send me my letter on April 1st and she doesn't know what could have gone wrong and maybe it went into my Spam folder. She sends me a copy of the letter telling me that IUP is waiting for me in September and that if I still want to participate I have to print the contract they've attached, sign it, scan it and send it back to them by April 8th, 5 P.M. the latest. I look at the clock and it's 4:30. I don't have a printer or a scanner at home so I grab my jacket and storm out of my dorm with my hair wet as hell. Fortunately we had a copy center about ten minutes from home so I managed to do everything by 4:55. So another day goes by where Ren barely avoids being screwed out of a sweet deal.

I spent the next day and a half researching the university. It's not a bad place, especially for a poor unfortunate soul like me. I would have liked it better if the nearby town was bigger and the weather was nicer but apart from that, it's a great university that I will be happy to be a part from for the next academic year.

I started this blog with the intention of sharing the things that interest me and I believe that next year a lot of those things will have to do with my time in America. I can only hope that the perspective of a foreigner exploring this new and unfamiliar culture will be interesting to read about.