by Jenna Verhoeven
Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m not really the ‘fly by the seat of my pants’ kinda gal. Instead, I’m a bit of a planner and organiser. In all my travels I have always planned one step ahead. Except for a fateful day trip from Geneva to Lyon. I thought on this occasion I would travel the way my partner does, he free wheels and hopes for the best. Fast forward and the day trip turned into a comedy of errors. Ended up in the wrong side of Lyon with no WiFi, no maps, no ability to speak French except ‘please’, ‘thank you’, and ‘may we please have your best one Euro bottle of wine”. No cash to pay for the restrooms, being yelled at and chased by a restroom attendant, hungry, thirsty, and vowing never to travel like that ever again.
So, what does this have to do with my CSU Global trip?
Ticket to ride
CSU Global offers a few different trip types, each with a varying level of pre-trip responsibilities. The trip I was heading off on would be a group ticketed, short-term program. This meant that other than getting my ducks in a row financially and passport-wise, I was off the planning hook. Group-ticketed meant that all candidates would be departing and arriving at the same time, from the same airport; whilst this sadly meant I couldn’t stick around in South Korea for a holiday after, it does make organising a few students heading to the same place a bit more efficient.
Handing over the reins
I must admit, it’s a bit daunting leading up to a trip and realising that I haven’t organised anything! The CSU Global team are great though. The whole experience for this trip is smooth sailing. They tell you what you need to sign and when, what apps you should download for your travel insurance, they send you your hotel vouchers, help you organise alternate meals for flights, and are there to answer any question you may have (what happens if North Korea attempts to blow us up whilst we are there?).
It’s important to remember though, that travelling for CSU is as much (if not more) a responsibility, as a right. From the get-go I knew that if I was selected for this experience, I would be representing CSU, and would need to act accordingly. Part of the pre-departure experience is all about respresentin’ both yourself and CSU in a positive light. CSU makes it quite clear as to what your rights and responsibilities are as a CSU ambassador, as well as giving you tips to maximise your cultural experience.
Ducks in a row
So, my ducks are in a row, and I have signed my life away. Travel insurance, ticket, and hotel vouchers – locked and loaded. Confirmation of a gluten-free meal on the flight – done and dusted. Pre-departure CSU modules for safety, rights and responsibilities and expectations – complete.
Let’s get this show on the road…