Friday, April 27, 2012

In the Know... sort of.

I have some confirmation! Sort of. We just had our first conference call with the lovely Bosnia-bounded ladies, as well as our officials and people we are going to rely on so much in the upcoming year. So many questions were answered including the much anticipated Departure Date.
I am proud to say that I leave for Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina on August 15, 2012. No, I don't have my actual flight or anything like that, but I did order my passport on Monday! School starts on September 3 (day before America, oh well), but before that we have three weeks of intensive language camp. I'm actually really excited for language camp...
This is all just sinking in though. I mean, sometimes I'll lay in bed and it will suddenly dawn on me that I am leaving. Officially. For a year. In a country where I don't know anybody nor their language. And instead of feeling absolutely petrified, I am thrilled and excited and nervous and a little crazy. You have to be to go on an exchange. True fact.

Anyway, time for Zumba!

Until perhaps I get my host family,


P.S. (Edit April 27, 2012) SHOCK (aka the Facebook Five) have officially ALL made it to YES Abroad finalists. We are reppin' Bosnia, Indonesia, Thailand, Turkey, and Malaysia. I am so excited!
P.P.S. SHAKE is our Bosnia group. It stands for all the first letters of our names, Savannah, Helena, Anna, Katie, Emma :) I am the only one that does not have an "ah" sound at the end of their name. Oh well :P

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Where exactly IS Bosnia?

So a common question I've received after telling people what I am doing next year is, "Where is Bosnia?" And if someone does know, it's because they have heard about the bloody Bosnian War in the 90's. To let you all know, Bosnia is stable. YES Abroad wouldn't be sending five teenage girls there if it wasn't.
Back to my original point. Bosnia is in Eastern Europe. See that little orange spot across the Adriatic Sea from Italy? I'll be there!
 Another common question is when am I leaving? Well, I wish I could give you an exact date, but I'm pretty sure I'll be leaving beginning of August which I'm happy about so I have time to say good bye to everyone one last time. According to Emma, another YES student going to Bosnia, school starts September 3rd and they would like us in Bosnia two to three weeks ahead of time. Which I am very excited about. I just ordered over $100 worth in Bosnian language material. Crazy stuff! Ready for my introduction? Pozdrav, moje ime je Katie. Yeah, you tell me how to say that without being compared to speaking in tongues.

On NSLI-Y news: It's not happening, but I'm ok with it. I'm glad I didn't get the rejection from NSLI-Y and then was forced to wait anxiously for YES's reply. At least I have Bosnia to look forward to!

Anyway, 66 days until Washington DC for Pre-Departure Orientation.

Until I get more information,


Saturday, April 14, 2012



Ok, I sound immature and too crazy to even explain my excitement. Maybe I can make it a little simpler:

I received this, this morning:

Dear Katie,
Congratulations on your acceptance as a finalist on the YES Abroad Program in Bosnia and Herzegovina!

I am ecstatic. BEYOND ecstatic. I wish I could say that when I found out the news I started jumping and crying and all emotions just started running wild. But no. My parents woke me up this morning with the news so I was so disoriented that all I could understand was that I did it.
After months of waiting and wishing on 11:11 and praying and that horrible agonizing feeling I got every day another day passed after no notification, I did it.
Which means I will be spending my senior year abroad in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. I don't have a host family yet or the exact dates when I leave. Pre-Departure Orientation is June 26, 2012. But as far as I know, we come home for a few weeks after that. Well. Some people leave immediately for their country because of the school system, but Bosnia (as far as I know) is run by the European school system, so I may be leaving later. Meaning time to cram in all my farewells to all my family and friends.

All I can say right now, is that I am excited. True, now I have to go through waiting another three months or so until I leave which will include all my boot camps (so many things to do before I leave!), but this will fly. And then I will be flying to beautiful Bosnia. Oh, you don't know what Sarajevo looks like, do you? Well, you shall be enlightened!

My life is about to be so enriched and I cannot wait to gain this experience. I have been waiting for this since the first time I heard it was possible. One of the first long stories I wrote about was a girl traveling across the Atlantic to study abroad! True, it was in England, but still.

I can't write my excitement. All I feel is my gut going in knots because now I'm not nervous if I am going abroad or not. Now I'm nervous because I only have three months to learn as much Bosnian as possible.

As for NSLI-Y, if I make it, I will most likely turn it down unless somehow I make it to Rabat, Morocco... then it will be a very hard decision. But we'll see! I will know by next week. Even though I am accepted with YES, I still want to know my status for NSLI-Y.

Anyway, my day has been made. I love everyone who has supported me through this and I love YES Abroad!

Until I know more information,

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Wait

And so the waiting begins!

It has now been two and a half weeks since IPSE and there is no news. It has been three MONTHS since my NSLI-Y interview and there is no news.

I hate waiting.

Both organizations are set on finishing notifications this month. NSLI-Y is supposed to be done by next Friday which is freaking me out. YES is notorious for being late so "mid-April" may as well mean the end of the month. I have my bets set on Monday, April 16. But it could be later... it probably will be later. Every time I see a notification from the YES group or NSLI-Y group on Facebook, I immediately freak out thinking notifications have been sent out and I haven't gotten one. But it hasn't happened yet, so I suppose we will see.

As for now, I just want to remember IPSE. The fabulous weekend with fabulous people and fabulous food. All together, I am extremely grateful for the people that put all the hard work into this amazing event.

Anyway, time for some dearly needed sleep.

Until notifications! *cue freaking out*