First Real Post

Hello MSU study abroad online community!
My name is Neil Liotta and I got roped into writing this blog about my experiences as an exchange student at Stellenbosch University in South Africa next semester. It is hard to believe, but this coming Saturday I will leave my home in Anchorage, Alaska for the opposite side of the world for five months. Hopefully I like South Africa, because five months is a really long time!
According to Google Earth, the distance from Anchorage, Alaska to Stellenbosch South Africa is 11,550 miles. Now, it doesn’t take a college student to recognize that as a very long distance. Even though I leave on the morning of the 19th, and have only two stops in Seattle in London, I don’t arrive in Cape Town until the morning of the 21st! I have never sat down in an air plane for more than five hours, and here I am subjecting my behind to TWO back to back twelve hour flights. I am actually concerned it may fall off.
That being said, it is hard to contain my excitement for the next couple months. It will be good to have a break from the standard math and science classes at MSU and to take some more humanity-oriented classes abroad. It will also be very refreshing to not have to worry too much about grades, and I look forward to taking full advantage of grades being pass/fail abroad (as long as I pass, my GPA will not be affected).
It will also be great to get out of Alaska! While Alaska used to look like this last week…

…It now looks like Seattle or London or someplace else equally as rainy and dreary. If you can’t have snowy coldness, it may be time for beachy hotness right?
Anyway, next week this blog will make more sense as I will actually be IN South Africa. Until then, I need to go outside in order to get thoroughly sick of Alaska before heading to the other side of the world.

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