Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Moving abroad

I never really wanted to live in another country. I was never against it, but it was never a dream of mine. I thought about living in another part of the States maybe Chicago or New York, but I was pretty happy with things in Minneapolis. Minneapolis is a great place to live. You can feel a bit landlocked at times, but I am definitely proud to be a Minnesotan gal.

To be honest I wasn't even all that keen to study abroad. In my major you spend your last semester either doing a full time internship or studying abroad. MCAD also has relationships with other colleges in the states and I really wanted to do a semester at Parsons. Parsons in New York City had a great program in design management. I went through the process of trying to make that happen and it turned out it was going to cost more than going to MCAD for the semester. I had earned a scholarship for my senior year and it couldn't be used at Parsons, but it could be used if I studied abroad at one of the colleges that we partnered with overseas.

Since my high school French isn't what it used to be, I decided that it would be good to go somewhere people spoke English. That gave me a few choices, London, Brighton or Ireland. The universities in Brighton and Ireland were fine arts based so that left London.

At the time MCAD was only sending graphic design students over to the London College of Communication, but I discovered that they had a relevant course to my major in Marketing and Advertising. I worked with MCAD to let me go and in the end another classmate of mine went along as well.

Now going back to when I said I didn't want to study abroad. In hindsight it's a really silly thing to say. I would definitely recommend it to everyone. At the time I thought that it might not be the best move since I wanted to stay in Minneapolis and try to make contacts to find a job after graduation. I had also traveled abroad before and it wasn't like I was 22 and going to be on my own for the first time. I was worried that it was going to be too expensive and it wasn't sensible. I am so glad I decided to go for it.

I can't tell you how happy I am that I decided to do it. You just learn so much about yourself and the world.

So it was decided that I would spent eight weeks studying in London. Before I got to London I did a little traveling in Ireland. Two other MCAD Vis students, Zoe Peterson and Katy Smith, were going to do a semester in Dublin. I hung around with them for a bit before heading over to London. Little did I know what was in store......

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Getting Married to a British Man

Wedding Cake Topper, originally uploaded by HeyAbigail.

It's coming up to my one year wedding anniversary. I can hardly believe that a year has almost gone by since that fantastic day in Las Vegas. Matthew and I got married on August 30th, 2008 and we've been very happy. 

I wanted to write some posts about what it was like marrying someone from another country. There was a lot of stress about applying for visas, thinking about living in another country, planning a wedding, not knowing how to go about everything and real fear about it all going wrong with me not being able to be with Matthew in England.

I spent a lot of time reading message boards and blogs trying to find hope in other people's experiences. I would find myself drawn to the stories where everything did go wrong and it would send me into a tailspin of what ifs. It was horrible, also considering that I was working part time and had many hours to trawl the internet to find evidence that things wouldn't work out. 

The good news is that in spite of my fears (mainly due to the fact that a lot of what I was experiencing was unknown) things worked out very well. I wanted to share my story with other soon to be ex-pat brides and let them know that it can all turn out happily ever after. So I will be writing a series of posts about what it was like a year ago when I was getting ready to tie the knot and start a new life in England. 
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