Yesterday was the European Council program’s student orientation meeting in Milledgeville. Second to the actual departure day for Paris, orientation day is the most exciting on the program calendar. Students get to meet each other, professors meet their classes, everyone learns way too much about packing, changing money, and beating jet lag, and overall, stuff gets real. I have a great group of students this year: a mix of experienced travelers and newbies with a wide variety of majors. Since I am teaching World Literature, we had an interesting discussion about reasons to study World Lit. in a foreign city. This group has some good ideas and I am eager to work with them in Paris.
As co-Site Director I also got to give part of the orientation presentation to the full group. Since pre-trip preparations are a topic near and dear to my heart I talked about what to pack and about what to do with/about money. It’s clear that my only shortcoming (ha) is that I do not use a hair straightener. Students with their long, glossy tresses are extremely interested in whether to pack a straightener or buy one. My heartfelt response as a person with maybe 2″ of hair is “Just have curly hair!” I do not use a straightener and, when abroad, I do not even use a blow-dryer. But “Why Short Hair is Better” is a topic for an entirely different blog. For the record: everything I’ve heard suggests that straighteners respond badly (they either don’t heat up all the way or they blow out/burn out) when used with a voltage converter. Thus, one would be better off buying one on arrival.
Or you could just have curly hair.
43 days to departure. Is it too soon to start packing?