Kate – Semester Exchange to SUNY Oswego, NY, USA
Semester 2, 2016
I’ve been here now for three weeks and I’m loving every minute of it. I can honestly say this has been one of the best decisions I’ve made and I continue to wake up every morning excited for what the day holds. Thinking back to this time last year, I never imagined I’d be where I am today – living overseas, studying at an American college, travelling solo and meeting new people from all over the world. Ever since I started my bachelors degree at ACU, I had been interested in taking part in an exchange program but was always hesitant. The idea of moving overseas for what seemed to be a long period of time was daunting. However, at the end of last year I decided to take the plunge and hand in my application form. From that point on, one thing lead to another from receiving the official acceptance letter in the mail, to attending information seminars and of course the last minute packing. Before I knew it I was standing at Sydney International Airport boarding a plane to LAX.
Before boarding the flight, I felt such a range of mixed emotions. On one end of the scale I was so excited to be travelling to the USA and all the hard work was finally going to be worth it but on the other end I felt very anxious about the unknown especially since it was my first big solo trip overseas. After 14 hours of travelling, I arrived at LAX airport feeling exhausted but at the same time surreal to be standing in the long awaited Los Angeles. Upon arrival, I met another Australian student who was also doing exchange and coincidently at my host university too! We had the chance to explore the beachy lifestyle of LA together for the next few days before I made the next trip over to NYC. All of a sudden I was in a fast paced, busy city where hustle and bustle was the norm. From riding on the subway, to eating a huge slice of the classic new york pizza, to walking across the Brooklyn bridge and exploring the infamous times square there was no doubt I was here in NYC and completely ready to make the most of it.
After a week in the city, the time had come to begin my journey to college. Suitcases filled to the brim ready to go, I boarded the bus with thirty other international students. When we arrived we were taken to our dorms and had the afternoon free to unpack, meet our roommates and go shopping for anything we need to get settled in. That night we gathered together to watch one of the well-known sunsets of Lake Ontario. From this moment on, I felt right at home. Each and every person I met was so friendly and it was amazing to hear about all the different countries they came from. This is one of the many great parts of exchange, having the opportunity to meet people from all around the globe. I’m looking forward to the upcoming months here, making the most of the sun for now before the snow and ticking more things off that long bucket list of mine!