One month until I leave
Wow, there is officially only one month left until I leave for South Korea. I'm not gonna lie, part of me is very surprised that we have gotten the go ahead to travel and start the grant with the status of Covid-19 in the United States. There are many countries that officially postponed and delayed their grants to mid 2021 to even 2022. I don't know how Fulbright determines which countries were allowed the go-ahead or how any of that was determined. I am glad that South Korea was given the go ahead because I honestly don't know if I would have accepted the grant if it was postponed to Fall of 2021 or even 2022. I began this entire Fulbright process back in April 2019 so a lot of time has already passed. I still plan on attending medical school and have already put if off due to Fulbright, but again I don't know if I would have put it off another couple years if Fulbright was postponed again. Many Fulbright grantees have that difficult decision to make of whether it's Fulbright vs. post-graduate school or other jobs opportunities, especially during the times that we are currently living in. I'm glad that I didn't have to make this choice.
As of now, I feel pretty safe traveling, because I know specifically for South Korea, they have handled the pandemic quite well. I would probably be safer in South Korea then in the United States with Covid-19 related issues. We received word that all grantees will be required to do a 2 week quarantine once we land in South Korea. I don't know how this will work but I was told that we would begin our 6-week orientation while in quarantine which is great news because then it gives us something to do while in quarantine. From what I have read and seen, it seems like the South Korea 2 week quarantine is very strict and we will basically be confined to a room for the full 2 weeks. Food will be provided for us and we will have to log in our symptoms daily but otherwise it's just one person to a room and you can't leave until the full 2 weeks of quarantine have been completed. At least we will have orientation to keep us busy.
During my last month in the US, I have been completing Fulbright paperwork, starting to buy/gather all the required items I will need for my trip, and continued to work at the hospital. It's been pretty busy but the time has flown by and I don't feel at all ready for the trip. But I am sure as the weeks go by, I'll start to feel more prepared and ready for the trip.
I have officially gotten my flight information. I will be flying out on 01/09/2021 from Minneapolis at 5:30 am heading to Atlanta, Georgia. From Atlanta, it's a direct flight to Seoul, South Korea. I leave Atlanta around noon (01/09/2021) and land at 5:30 pm South Korea time (01/10/2021). South Korea is 15 hours ahead of central time so that will be a big adjustment for me. I think the entire travel will be long and stressful but hopefully once I land, I will feel a lot more calm and comfortable with everything. Well, I guess that is all for now until I leave for my trip! My next post will most likely be me writing from the airport, fingers crossed.