What a rollercoaster!
So for a variety of reasons and a lot of planning, I decided it would be in my best interest to stay a year. Now, what does that process look like?
Well, I can only speak for CIEE. The first thing I did was email the Center for Global Engagement at Hope and let them know that this was what I wanted to do.
That was pretty pain-free. Then, I had to contact CIEE. Their requirements were different–I had to fill out a program extension form that required me to fulfill a few different electives. I had to have no disciplinary records, be earning a C or higher in all my courses, and have paid all my fees for this semester. Because I had filled out most of my paperwork before I went abroad (things like my visa were still valid and my health history hadn’t changed), I didn’t have to fill out nearly as much paperwork as I did the first time. A total win!
Now was the fun part. My friends here have become such a rock in my abroad journey, and I was so excited to tell them they weren’t going to have to let go of me, yet. They were all so excited. One of my friends was so happy she actually started crying. I was so excited to stay.
But life got in the way, and due to some unforeseen circumstances, I had to go about cancelling my extension. To do that, you have to go through a similar process. You have to email your home institution and then fill out a withdrawal form officially cancelling said extension. There are no financial repercussions of this as long as you cancel before a certain point. For my program, that was fifteen or so days before the very beginning of the second term.
I initially extended my program, but as life is, sometimes life happens and things come up. It was difficult to tell my friends that I was actually still going to leave. Tears were shed. My heart was a little broken. But I, as all people and especially with decisions as large as studying abroad, strongly encourage anyone to make sure that they do what’s best for them. Extending my program was what was best for me until circumstances changed, and there is absolutely no shame in that.