I successfully completed my exchange semester on the 17th of December and as much as I will miss this place, overall I am happy and excited to leave and get back home to finish off my degree. Furthermore, I never thought this experience would be possible. A “thank you” to ACU and SJU for this exchange experience does not suffice; I am forever in a state of gratitude.
This entire experience has encapsulated the reinvestment in my attitude towards others. The individuals I have met, befriended and will miss, have changed my life. The life of a college/university student here in America is significantly different to what it is like in Australia. I certainly felt a greater sense of community, campus and student engagement. Back at home, for me, it was just going through the motions; attending classes and then going back home (with all the study/assignments in between, of course). However, over here at St Johns, there’s a multitude of opportunities to get involved, which I did. I got involved with intramural sport for the organisation I joined, and played soccer, flag football and basketball. I made friends along the way, who have actually become life-long friends. Saying goodbye to them wasn’t easy, and it won’t be – they are throwing me a farewell party in New York City days before I leave.
With that said, I have exactly three more weeks left in this city, I have family visiting me here and spending New Years eve with me, this is the time for me to channel my inner tourist and get things done here in this magical city. This city is beautiful at this time of the year, Christmas and New Years. New York exemplifies the festive season and everyone here appreciates it, it makes for an incredible and cheerful holiday.\
My feelings about coming home haven’t really hit me yet… maybe because it’s the fact that I have really embraced my time here and have called New York City my home. One day, hopefully in the near future, I would love to live, study more and work here – that’s a goal I will be working towards from now on.
In the end, nothing beats home (in Sydney), and I am glad I am coming back home with a wealth of knowledge from studying, from experiencing living away from home and the wise words and tips from the New Yorkers I’ve had the privilege of meeting here. On a side note, I will definitely not miss the annoying cold weather here and I am looking forward to the summer and the heat back at home.
In conclusion, I will miss the friends I’ve made here the most, followed by the amazing food that I have tasted; honestly, New York is the food capital in the world in my opinion! But for now it’s time to live it up for the remaining time I have here, celebrate the end of the semester and year.