Unfortunately the time came to leave the University of Arizona. For most, the last couple of weeks of college are manic because of final exams and American students are preparing to head home for their short winter break. The exchange students, however, are all determined to make the last few weeks on campus count, meaning there is a lot of hype in having final catch-ups with friends and goodbye drinks. Although it was hard to say goodbye to many of the friends I made at college, it made me excited for what the future holds & they give me a reason to return to the United States!
In all, my study abroad has been the best experience of my life. I’ve learned a lot about the American & Mexican Culture (being so close to the boarder), as well as being able to have the ‘college experience’. One of the hardest aspects of my student exchange was living out of home for the first time. Luckily I was in an apartment with two girls from Adelaide who made this transition for me a lot easier, and it was great to have a support system from home because we all understood how hard it could be to be away from our friends and family at times.
At the end of the semester I travelled around the U.S. for a month. The cities I visited include; Chicago, New York, Las Vegas, San Fransisco & Los Angeles. Although travelling over Christmas and the current Australian dollar added to the expense of the travel, I wouldn’t change it for the world. The atmosphere in New York over Christmas was unforgettable and I was lucky enough to spend my Christmas Day ice skating around central park.
For students who are considering going on student exchange, all I can say is – do it! The process of going on exchange can be tiring & stressful when looking for a host institution and figuring out a Visa, but in the end this was an experience I will cherish and remember for a lifetime.
Phoebe Budge, a Bachelor of Education (Middle and Secondary Schooling), Bachelor of Arts student, Semester 2 2015 exchange at University of Arizona, United States