Saturday, November 19, 2011

No Big News

Just last week, I received an email saying that AFS doesn't begin looking at fall 2012 applications until late January, so I have about two more months of waiting. yay! Last weekend, I submitted both of my Speedwell Scholarship essays even though the deadline isn't until March 1st. They each had to be one page in length and double spaced. I feel pretty confident in them, too! On the AFS website, it says that they begin to decide scholarship winners on a rolling basis beginning in March. So now I just have to wait until March to hear back about my scholarship!

Also, I finally organized an in-home interview time with some local volunteers. I have my in-home interview, this Tuesday, November 22nd at 7pm. I am being interviewed by two volunteers instead of one, which makes me a little more nervous!

Besides those updates, there is no more big news! I'm still here waiting!
But here is some good news! Thanksgiving is this week, yum! Happy Thanksgiving to all!


Tuesday, November 08, 2011

298 and counting!

Don't ask me why, but I've started an official countdown to September 1st, which is the day I'll most likely leave for Spain. -notice my countdown on the right side ----> 298 days. 42 weeks. 10 months. whichever term you want to use..until my year in Spain. You may think I'm completely crazy for starting a count down this soon, but hey! i'm not going to deny my craziness! I haven't even been accepted by AFS-USA or AFS Spain yet..but I'm not really worried about it. I'm the perfect candidate! (hopefully!) It may seem like I'm overdoing this whole wait and process, but it shows how determined and excited I am! I honestly think I have an unhealthy obsession with checking my email a million times a day..but it's all part of being an AFSer! The wait is the longest part of this process. I have to wait another eight or so weeks until it's even January. AFS begins to look at fall departure applications starting in January. So hopefully by January or February i will be accepted by AFS-USA. Then  AFS sends my application all the way to Spain, where they review it once again and determine if they want me or not. Hopefully I will officially know if I'm going to Spain by March..or April. If I'm not accepted by Spain my application goes to my other country options which are Italy, Germany, then France. But, I have no worries and I'm sure I will be accepted into AFS Spain. After my acceptance into my host country, AFS will immediately begin searching for the best host family for me. There have been cases of people finding out their acceptance into a country AND their host family in the same day..and of course, there have been cases where someone doesn't find out their family until they are on the plane. Either way, I'm positive AFS will find the very best fit.

I know all of this is familiar to all you AFSers, but I'm just informing anyone who is new to the whole exchange process.

I know going into exchange, that you're not suppose to expect anything. But honestly? It's very hard to go into this completely open-minded. I try not to expect anything..for example, almost everyday my mom asks me if i would be okay with living with a single parent or sharing a bedroom with my host sibling. My answer is always yes, every single time. I am going into exchange not knowing at all what to expect. I want to make the very best of my exchange year, so for now, I'll just stick with my usual daydreaming!

As of now, I have no big news. I submitted my full application October 30th..and now I am waiting, and waiting, and waiting. Oh, did I mention I have to wait? I also am in the process of scheduling a home interview with my coordinator, Marien. If all goes as planned, we might meet on November 15th. She is on vacation this week and hopefully will return my email soon! After my interview, my application is fully complete and AFS can review it and give me the big news.

Since I'm probably the world's biggest creeper, I found two other people planning to go to Spain the same time as me. As of now, Dylan and Vivian, are the only people that understand my uncontrollable excitedness! I'm glad to have them here to ask any questions and just talk about our feelings and such. Like, earlier today, Dylan and I were talking about how crazy it is to think about leaving everyone here in the states behind for ten whole months. It made me realize that giving up my senior year is a lot more than I thought it would be.
It's crazy to think that I'm only an upperclassmen for one year.
It's crazy to think that I'll only have one prom and one homecoming..ever.
It's crazy to think that I'll only have one powderpuff game.
It's crazy to think that I will be graduating with my class, but I'll never attend my own graduation.
It's crazy to think that this is my last year of American high school and the last year I'll see most of my friends.
It's especially crazy that in just ten months, my life will completely change..for the best, of course.

Since I'm an organization freak..
Things to Do:
-Schedule my in-home interview
-Sign up for a college English class from January until June at my local bible college (yay..)
-Get through the first semester of my junior year ( chemistry? KILL ME)
-Keep driving and find a car
-Get a second job (which I have a job interview in two days!)
-Wait, wait, wait..!

As you can see, I don't have any good news and just a bunch of random AFS-related thoughts.
So for now, I'm done!


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Waiting Game..

Here's some great news! Tonight, I successfully submitted my full application! Now all I have to do is wait for AFS-USA to accept me, and then my application is sent off to Spain..and then I have to wait for AFS-Spain to accept me. After that, I have to wait some more to hear news about my host family. It's only a waiting game from here.

Even though AFS doesn't look at fall departure applications until January, I hope it's sooner!

I'm just waiting now, and waiting..


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Full Application & Scholarship

So, I've finally started the full application process. and let me tell you, for anyone who doesn't know what this application is's insane. The application has many parts to it- personal contact information, placement information, a picture portion, letters of recommendation, parent consent and signatures, a health form, a passport section, and so on. I started the little parts of the application such as the personal information back in the beginning of July, and now that school has finally started, I am getting more and more in depth with the process. I've already asked my former Spanish teach for a letter of recommendation, and he willingly accepted! Next week, I have a meeting with my parents, guidance counselor, and principal to discuss whether and if i receive any credits for studying abroad. I'm crossing my fingers and wishing for the best! I'm nervous, but at the same time, I don't really care if i don't get any credits. Studying in Spain would so be worth it anyways! So far, I have about 1/3 of my application done with much more to follow! I'm slowly gathering parts and pieces together, and soon it will be finished.

I'm also applying for a very generous scholarship. It's called the Speedwell Scholarship. It's available to any student in Lancaster or Lebanon county, Pennsylvania wanting to study abroad for a year to the country of their choice. In the previous years, this was a full scholarship! If i'm remembering correctly, there were 19 full scholarships awarded last year, and everyone who applied, received a scholarship! I think this is a great opportunity to take advantage of. For the Speedwell Scholarship, all i need to do is attend a high school in Lancaster or Lebanon county and meet the AFS criteria, and also write a short essay.

My goal is to have both my full application and Speedwell Scholarship application submitted by the beginning of January. It's going to be a test of patience, but in the end, it will be worth it!

As you can see, this post is full of no updates or good news whatsoever. Wish me luck as my AFS adventure is only beginning!


Monday, June 27, 2011

it's only the beginning..

Dear friends,

My name is Paige Rothfus and in a little over a year, I plan to study abroad in Spain as an AFS foreign exchange student. In late August 2012, I plan to travel to Spain for ten months during my senior year of high school. Like most other students, I want to make the best of my education and I believe traveling to Spain and immersing myself in a whole new language and culture, would be a great way to do so! Traveling to Spain, not only would open my eyes and make me a better person, but will also give me the opportunity to make a difference in someone else's life. While in Spain, I will strive to solidify my Spanish speaking skills and by doing this, it help me further understand and fully accept a new culture and way of life. During my ten months in here, I will learn new things every day about the Spanish culture; hopefully I will educate the people around me of the American culture, as well. I decided to start the fundraising process a little early, to ensure I can reach my goal.
Ever since I was a little kid, I have enjoyed listening to the marvelous stories my grandparents used to tell of their travel experiences throughout the world. For as long as I can remember, I have dreamed of traveling not only to different places and countries, but outside of my comfort zone, too. Now that I finally have the chance to study abroad, I'm definitely going to take it!
So far, I have been working a part-time job to earn money for my trip and tuition fees. I also have been babysitting, and doing everything in my willpower to make my trip to Spain a success. I have already filled out my preliminary application and I am actively working on the tedious full application. I want to insure a spot to study abroad in Spain, and by getting a head start, that's bound to happen! Don't worry, I will continually post and update you about me and my adventures!

Thank you,