International Day Jarrod Growse

International Day, Thanksgiving and ‘The Election’

Jarrod – Exchange to Georgia College, USA

Semester 2, 2016

As always so much has happened in the past few weeks! The leaves here have begun to turn orange, the weather is getting colder and Thanksgiving has drawn to a close. Now all of the Christmas decorations have started to appear – I am personally against premature Christmas decorating, but when they are as lavish as they are here, I can’t complain. But before I get to the Christmas decorations let me back track and tell you about the last month.

So first was International Day. The college celebrated the day by inviting any body from different nationalities to come together on front campus and celebrate our nation. There were people from all over the world, not just the current international students but also general students with global backgrounds. I loved putting all of my Australian gear on, we made posters, made lamingtons, had Cadbury and Vegemite and answered questions about the Aboriginals and explained what AFL was about 100 times.

Next was Halloween, which was so much fun. It lasted about 4 days, starting Friday and finishing Monday. There were spooky movies being shown on Halloweencampus, every retail store, bar and restaurant was decorated, there were lots of costume parties at the different frat houses and people even dressed up for class. I had a successful night of trick or treating and filled a very big bag with candy; ended up throwing out the majority of it because their chocolate and lollies here suck.

After that was a much less ‘fun’ event – the Presidential Election. It involved days spent in much debate with students, friends and teachers, both in and out of class. I did a lot of reading about how it happened, why it happened, the repercussions of it happening. It truly was a remarkable election, a big eye opener for a lot of politicians and it will surely change global politics over the course of the next 4 years. To be honest, I think the greatest downfall of the result will be what happens within the United States, this election has really created tension and developed segregation within the US. Thanks to social media and such poor political leaders most of the propaganda and media relating to the government is fairly hate fueled.

Halloween 2Halloween 3I was fortunate enough to be invited by two different girls to be their date/partner to their sorority formal/prom. Both events were truly spectacular and the venues were beautiful. I borrowed a suit from a friend here and accompanied my two dates to a photoshoot, then to a lovely sit down dinner in a wedding-like setting, before dancing the night away on the dance floor. Both girls had a really lovely night so I think I did my job right.

Most recently, we had Thanksgiving! We were given a 5 day holiday to go home to our families for the public holiday. I was Halloween 4supposed to visit the home of two of my friends during this time off, however after going home with a friend called Bailey, I loved her family and home so much that I decided to stay there the full 5 days. She lives on St Simon’s Island, which was a beautiful quiet town, similar to that of Inverloch. I spent the week with her cousins, sister, sister’s boyfriend, parents and her family friends, all of whom were some of the nicest people I’ve met. They were so hospitable and fun. Thanksgiving is very similar to Christmas, just without the presents. The extended family gets together to share a really big meal, and then spends the day watching American football and catching up. I got to eat broccoli casserole, green bean casserole, corn bread dressing, turkey ham, corn casserole, sweet potato soufflé, cranberry sauce, mac and cheese, apple pie, pecan pie, cookies, non-baked cookies, monkey bread, pumpkin bread, and poppy seed bread. I was stuffed after eating all day. I also had the opportunity to visit Jekyll Island, watch a High School Football game and make Smores around the fire.

I now have exactly two weeks of classes left here. I have passed all of my classes already, but have 2 more exams and one more paper due. I am already feeling very sad about having to say goodbye to so many people. Especially the few people I have grown extremely close to over the 5 month period. It will also be sad to say goodbye to my dorm room, the gym and the very beautiful college. However I am looking forward to going back to a few of my friend’s homes and enjoying being on Winter break.