Ever since I started university 3 years ago, I have always wanted to go on an exchange program and live in a different part of the world. To meet new people and learn different cultures from all parts of the world. During my O week in my first year, the first thing I investigated was exchange. I worked out what I had to do to be eligible for exchange and ever since then I have been working hard to get the right grades to be worthy for acceptance.
My time at West Virginia University in the USA has been hands down one of the best things I have ever done with my life. This was due to a few key reasons. The people I met while on exchange are fantastic, enthusiastic and fun people. Everyone who goes on exchange are there for mainly the same reasons, to meet some great new friends, experience a new culture and of course have some fun while continuing their studies. I lived in a large old sorority house that has been converted into the International House. It housed 25 students from all parts of the globe. To name some there were Spanish, South African, Mexican, English, Korean, Danish and many more. The interactions you have with these people from different cultures really opens your eyes to how other people live and interact with each other.
Another big reason that WVU was such a fantastic experience for me was that it was so different from living in Melbourne. Back home I live with my parents and take the bus into uni which is situated in a large city. At WVU in the quaint town of Morgantown, I was in working distance to all of my classrooms, the main street in town and the sporting stadiums on campus. Everybody in Morgantown, even if you don’t attend the university, lives and breathes WVU. From the college sports to events around campus, Morgantown had such a different feeling from a big city like Melbourne.
And finally, one of the other reasons that made my exchange experience so special was that I had to start a new life not knowing anybody, in a new town I didn’t know, and by then end I felt like Morgantown was my second home due to the warm welcoming people and the positive nature of the university. This experience taught me invaluable skills that I will use for the rest of my life and I am so grateful for this.
To end my last blog post, I encourage anybody and everybody to apply or even just consider going on exchange as it is such a wonderful experience.