After 15 weeks in the United States and two hours left on my visa it’s time for me to head back home to Australia. Reflecting on my amazing time in the States I can only think what an great experience exchange is. It’s the perfect excuse to travel to a new place and live. Study gives you purpose and allows you to absorb yourself in a place. Meeting and living with locals exposes you to places and events that if you were visiting briefly you would not see.
My classes at Santa Clara have been a great learning experience from writing poetry to cinematography class in state of the art facilities. I’ve learnt so much in a short 10 week quarter.
Living in Height Asbury during the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love has been an incredible experience in itself. A large share house amongst friends only a stones throw from Height Street has been interesting at every moment from street fairs, concerts and parks filled with people relaxing on a Saturday and Sunday afternoon to harbour cruises and street cars, San Francisco is a hotbed of action.
Finishing class and leaving the house after 3 months I hit the road and flew to Philadelphia from San Francisco to check out the place for a couple of nights. Staying in a hostel I met a lot of people and checked out the city that birthed the American Constitution to the famous steps from the film Rocky.
After a couple of days in Philadelphia I caught a bus to New York to stay with friends in Brooklyn. A few days in Brooklyn cemented my opinion that it was my favourite place in America. Brooklyn is very similar to Melbourne cool cafe’s and bars can be found throughout a place that is quickly becoming gentrified. Brooklyn is only a 15 minute train ride away from Manhattan so this allowed me to travel into the city to check out famous spots.
After an amazing week in Brooklyn I left the city and my experiences behind and moved on to Chicago then Madison till I returned back to San Francisco to fly home to Australia.
I know I’ll be back in Brooklyn to live in and work at some stage. Exchange has shown me that the world is small and anything is possible and that you can work and study in foreign places it’s not as hard as you think.
Exchange pushed and expanded me it exposed me to new people and experiences. It allowed
change and grow away from home. Exchange is an experience that I cannot recommend enough. It will expand and push you. Once you organise yourself and settle in you will not only learn through your study but through your experiences.