I’ve officially fallen in love with the city of Chicago. I have finally settled in properly to this city and am enjoying the experience so much. And I haven’t even explored the whole thing. I’ve had the opportunity to see different neighbourhoods, like Belmont, Addison and Chinatown, but that’s only 3 out of the 77 that exist in Chicago. There are so many things to see and do it can feel overwhelming at times. The city itself is such a change from home, but in the best way possible. I also love the people I’ve met in this city and have made some really strong friendships already. Being an international student I’ve been able to meet other students from all of the world and they have become my closest friends, some from England, Ireland and Brazil. It’s been really fun exploring the city with them as we all are seeing it for the first time. It feels different exploring with them compared to seeing the city with the friends I have from Chicago. Through the different people I’ve met I’ve been able to explore the city in different ways and go and see different events all over.
The academic side of things is very different from back home and the overall teaching style is different. Maybe that comes from the fact I have known my Adelaide lecturers for a long time now and am very familiar with their teaching – which works well in producing work. I found the work load to be very different here but not in a bad way. Although I have a lot of work to achieve every week its promoting me to continuously be taking photographs and making artistic work – which will definitely help me in the long run as an artist.
Living on campus has been a real change for me but I lucked out with roommates as they are all really lovely people. I currently live with 4 other girls, all studying incredibly different things.
I have had my ups and downs with home sickness, especially the first few weeks of being here. It felt odd to not see my family or friends at all and to be going through this experience without the people I’m closest too. Even this far into the exchange I have days where I miss home like crazy and find it hard to concentrate of anything other than that, but for the most part I am able to speak to everyone back home daily so I don’t have to worry about missing them too much. Although I am looking forward to going home and seeing all my family and friends in Adelaide I already know I’m going to miss the people I’ve met here. I’ve made some really strong friendships and been able to share some pretty incredible experiences with people I’ve become close to.
I am enjoying this experience beyond belief and feel so thankful that I could do this exchange! I know because of it I will be able to return to this city in the future and reconnect with everyone I now know. It’s been such a rewarding experience and I know I’m excited for everything else I will be able to do there!
Emilie Plunkett, Bachelor of Creative Arts (Visual Arts)student, Semester 1 2017 exchange at Columbia College Chicago, the United States
- Read Emilie’s 1st post here