Mid-semester already!

Tara Fontana, Exchange to St. John’s University

Semester 2, 2017

It feels like just yesterday that I was walking through the international departure gates leaving Melbourne, but in reality it was over 2 months ago. Time really flies when you’re having fun!!


I cannot believe that we are already into week 9, out of a 16 week semester. The past 2 weeks have been filled with many assignment and mid-term exams so it’ll be nice to have a few weeks break before the hectic-ness of finals week begin. So what’s been filling the past 9 weeks you ask? Where to even begin.


It seems that American colleges don’t so anything small, and by that I mean they go big or go home. Friday, October 13th saw the St John’s annual tip off game. This is the first game of the new basketball season where the male and female basketball teams are introduced. There was about 25 minutes of basketball played and 3 hours of performances. Performances from the SJU cheer team, SJU dance team, a DJ all night, competition and dance offs with people in the audience and a special performance from rapper Dave East- no clue who he was at the start of the night but I gathered he was kind of a big deal based on the roaring eruption from the crowd.  Overall, tip off was more of a concert than a basketball game but it was incredible to be a part of such an electric atmosphere.

One thing to know is that St Johns always has free food (we learnt this quickly in week 1), and that is no understatement. The one tip given to me early on- if you see a line and not sure what it’s for, join it. It’s most likely for free food.


Halloween just recently passed and wow, Americans really do go all out for this spooky holiday. Many dorm doors were covered in plastic spiders and cobwebs and come the 31st of Halloween, almost every house in Queens had children knocking on doors with their plastic pumpkin tubs ready to feast on lots of candy. My roommates and I ventured into Manhattan to check out the Halloween parade, supposably the biggest one in the USA. It runs for over 3 hours down 6th Avenue and there were thousands of people either watching or part taking in the parade- it was madness. Some people went all out in their costumes and some kept it low key by simply stringing themselves in Christmas lights, head to toe. Americans really do go out all for the big holidays here, and that is no understatement.

I honestly cannot believe how fast my time has gone here to think that I only have 7 weeks left of classes left is crazy! Time really does fly when you’re having fun, and it’s safe to say that I’m honestly having the best experience of my life right now.