Sunday, 29 May 2011

Organising my Study Abroad trip and occupying myself in the meantime!

I'm currently feeling quite anxious about the arrangements for my Study Abroad year in Perth.  I know it all gets finalised right at the last minute, and that this is normal, but it still gives me anxiety. 

I've submitted my application to Curtin University on 15 May.  It takes about 3 weeks to get your student number.  Nearly two weeks have passed, so I contacted the Herts Study Abroad office with my final results, and was told some people are starting to get their places confirmed.  When Curtin accept my application, various documentation needs to be supplied by me, to Herts, to Curtin, before I receive my student number.  So this will probably take a week, bringing us to 6 June.  Only then can I apply for my visa, because the visa application does not even get considered before you supply the student number.  (I've worked in admin, so I understand the rationale here).  The visa can take up to 3 weeks to process, bringing us to 27 June!  I'm hoping mine will be quicker, because I'm determined to supply all the information they ask for, and there is nothing in my background which might make me an undesirable person to enter the country.  And Curtin University advise arriving a week before International Induction which starts on 4 July - so I need to travel on 27 June!  No wonder I'm getting a bit twitchy!  Oh, and another thing - we are advised not to book travel until we receive the visa!  I have a little knot of anxiety in my stomach!

So, in the meantime I've been trying to stay calm by preparing everything I might need.  I've decided to travel light.  I don't do unnecessary carrying, so am planning to travel with only one suitcase, for my year abroad.  Anything that does not fit in the suitcase will have to be bought when I arrive.  However, one essential will be a new bag.  Key requirements are deep/secure enough to be pickpocket proof, and with a strap so I can wear over my head and across my body.  Also I want to use some of my print samples.  I've had a couple of quilted print samples in the exhibition cabinet at University of Herts this last semester.  I was told to remove them before the degree show, or they would be thrown out. So, a couple of days ago, when I was feeling like a neurotic heap about my visa, I decided to do some creative therapy and made it into a deep, narrow bag, c8" x 12" with a long strap.

This sample was created when I was working with a card of Newey's hooks and eyes, that I inherited from my Mother.  I then adapted the design to my Mum so the logo used our surname, Goodliff, and changed the Newey's slogan, to something ironic about our family - "Goodliff's cook vegetables thoroughly".  My Mum came from the generation that believed food needed to be cooked thoroughly in order to be safe and well cooked vegetables are deeply imprinted in my memory!  The quilt samples only needed to be small, so I've only got the name part of the print.  Thinking about my Mum and being creative successfully assauged the feeling of anxiety.

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