Monday, July 8, 2013

ISIC Revisited

So, I ended up buying an ISIC card, because it is indeed a requirement of OIP.

It does actually seem legit as a form of insurance, and I would recommend it just for this reason. Covers the following:
Trip Delaypage1image37440
Emergency Accident and Emergency Sickness Medical Expense
Emergency Medical Evacuation and Medically Necessary Repatriation
Repatriation of Remainspage1image40912
Accidental Death and Dismemberment 
Accidental Death and Dismemberment – Common Carrier (Air Only)
Baggage Delay 

But while you are on the website, it is a little bit finicky. When it says to select your country of study, choose the country that you are from, no matter where you are traveling to (this confused me). And then once you are on the US page, the only option is to purchase an ISIC Card with a MasterCard account attached to it. OBVIOUSLY I didn't want this, so I called their customer service line, and I found out that you can purchase an ISIC card without the MC account over the phone. They also said that over the phone for $10 extra, they would ship the card to me without actually processing any of my paperwork. I am not sure how that makes any sense at all, as they didn't verify that I was a student or anything like that, but it was a heck of a lot more convenient, so I would suggest this route. 

Also, if you are traveling but aren't a student, they have youth cards, and other options like that. Meh, I give it 2.5 stars. Check it out at

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

异地恋: Long Distance Relationships

I have been doing a lot of thinking about Will and I's relationship, and how it will evolve after I leave in August. Having just moved back home to Rocklin, splitting us up by about 200 miles, I feel like it is a good transition phase: it is easy to just take the bus to see one another, and we have been getting used to long distance communication. Things have been going well, and frankly, I feel excited for our future together, even though it won't be the most traditional type for the next little while.

I have been mulling things over to myself, but I finally did what I do for all of my problems: Google it! so after googling it, I came up with a few interesting pages/articles that I might recommend to others who are in the same boat.

Loving From a Distance: It is a little cheesy, but it has some fun ideas for the more adventurous long distance lover: lists of activities, fun gift ideas, inspirational stories... A community for people in long distance relationships. There are even forum boards where you can chat with LFAD Alumni.

Long Distance Relationships .net: This seems like some legit info about long distance relationships. From the Former Center for the Study of Long Distance Relationships, it claims that long distance couples do not have a higher rate of breaking up than regular couples, and that many feel just as fulfilled as if they were living in the same location. It also has some great questionnaires to help you and your partner know what to expect, and some recommendations for time away and transition periods. Watch out, Will, I might be coming at your with some questionnaires soon ;).

Of course, Oprah has something to say about this, so go ahead and check out The Long and the Short of Long Distance Relationships, on her website. The article is barf-tastically gushy, but has some truth to it too.

And lastly a funny article from GQ, titled "Honey, this FaceTime is torture." Also has some spot on nuggets of advice and a good description of what using Skype is actually like.

After looking at these articles, I feel more prepared to get more real about my future. After thinking about it, it doesn't seem so scary any more. If you have been in a long distance relationship and have advice, or will be and have thoughts, please share with me in the comments! I would love to hear! 'Till next time, adieu mes amis, 拜拜!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

I won the Confucius Institute Scholarship! Yay! 谢谢孔子学院!

I just heard the news yesterday by email! I won a scholarship from the Confucius Institute at Nanjing University to study Chinese! It covers my tuition and hopefully some of the cost of living! I haven't won a ton of scholarships, and, this one being kind of a big one, I feel super excited.

The Confucius Institute is a Chinese organization promoting Chinese language and culture abroad. There is probably a chapter on your campus! They host many cultural competitions which have some really wonderful awards for funding and study abroad opportunities, so I would urge you to go in and say hello! For this particular scholarship, I was the only one on my campus to apply, which really upped my chances, and I hear that this is not a situation which is unheard of. If you want to study abroad, want funding, and want ways to practice your Chinese, definitely go check it out.

You can check out there website here.