Monday, January 5, 2009

This is the beginning

I must say, it really was starting to feel like January would never come. Up to this point it hasn't even seemed real. It just seemed like one of those things that you want to do, and you talk about it, but it never actually happens. It just kind of fizzles away. Not this, this is real and the time is here and I'm leaving in 10 days. I fly out of Cleveland on the 15th, I have a layover in New Jersey, and I arrive in Buenos Aires on the 16th after about 18 hours of travel.

The seed was planted about a year ago.

Studying abroad is something I have wanted to do for a long time but after meeting with someone in the study abroad office last year and looking at some programs, it was obvious that it was financially out of reach for me. Even with the $5000 scholarship I had been awarded it just wasn't enough. So, I resigned myself to the idea that the only world travel I do would be for vacation purposes only.

A semester came and went and I was contacted by the study abroad office. Just a gentle reminder that deadlines were approaching and the scholarship money was still available for me to use. This, of course, got me interested once again. This is when I found Panrimo.

I knew two things. I knew I wanted to go to a Spanish speaking country and I knew I wanted to keep my costs down. Julie (my saint of a study abroad advisor) told me about this new company that had been at the study abroad fair at CSU. They were offering customizable programs which enabled them to keep costs down, and they had a program in Argentina. This was music to my ears. Just so you all know, picking out a study abroad program is a daunting task. Comparing options, and prices, and excursions, and courses, etc, etc quickly becomes overwhelming. I was intrigued by Panrimo, so I gave them a call.

I talked to Paul first and then Tony and I was sold. I got the impression that these guys had been there, done this, and they are trying to make things better for people like me. They had been students studying abroad and realized that things could be done better. I was happy that someone else agreed that these other companies are overcharging. So I chose to go with Panrimo. I chose them not just because they were inexpensive but mostly because I liked what they were trying to do, keep the experience of study abroad within reach, keep it personal, keep it real.

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