Exchange student reflects, shares experience in U.S.

posted in: Opinion | 0

A couple months ago, a scared English girl arrived in the United States feeling apprehensive about spending a semester in a country almost 5,000 miles from home.

She had barely been in the country for an hour and managed to miss a flight (thanks to queues [lines] everywhere) and lose her luggage.

That girl was me.

The beginning of my study abroad experience did not give me the confidence my experience in the U.S. would be a good one.

Thankfully, as I approach the end of the semester I can say that I had an amazing time here. Plus my suitcase did turn up a day later, so it could have been a lot worse!

Being away from home is difficult for anyone. You miss being at home a lot. You notice a lot of differences, from the food to cars driving on the other side of the road and since I am English, I had to adapt to dropping out “u’s” in certain words and replacing “s’s” with “z’s” in others.

Skype calls and messaging are never quite the same as catching up face-to-face with friends and family.

I celebrated my 20 birthday here, which felt strange being away from my family. Especially recently, in light of what is been happening over in Europe, it is hard to be so far away from my friends and family.

It is hard to think this experience is coming to an end in a few short weeks. I never would of thought that I would not want to leave! I am not going to lie, there were a few points where I felt like standing up and screaming at someone, “get me on a plane home right now!”

But I am glad I did not because I made so many amazing memories here and met so many nice people who I hope to keep in contact with.

I cannot believe this is the last time I will be writing for The Pacific Index. Without sounding as if I am collecting an Oscar (I wish) I just wanted to say thank you to Pacific.

Everyone I met here has been so nice and welcoming.

The fact that I got to take advantage of pretty cool opportunities like writing for The Pacific Index has been something that I never thought I would get to do!

Without sounding too pathetic, studying abroad is really one of those experiences that I will look back on as being one of the best choices I made.

If you do not believe me, then go try it for yourself and see what you think.

Who knows, maybe I will see someone with that same recognizable look I had of a mixture of fear and excitement, walking around York St. John’s campus in England one day!


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