I can’t believe that it’s been nearly three months since I left Adelaide! The time is flying by and it’s been an absolute whirlwind so far.
I began my exchange by travelling to Pennsylvania to stay with my host parents from high school for a little over three weeks. It was awesome to see them again after four years and to catch up with friends from high school. We went on a camping trip in their RV to the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia where we explored the national park, the caves and an American float museum. I managed to see a lot of wildlife including a black bear and her cubs, lots of deer and wild turkeys.
All too soon my time in Pennsylvania came to an end and my host parents were kind enough to drive me down to Greenville, NC where they helped me move into my dorm at East Carolina University. My roommate moved in on the same day and we instantly clicked. It felt weird always having someone else in my room but I am so grateful to have her as a roommate and we have had so much fun living together for the past two months. I attended orientation the day after moving in which was a great experience meeting all the other international students and exploring the campus. Most of the internationals live in my building which is 10 stories so there is always something social going on. ECU is known for being a party school and I can definitely say that it lives up to that reputation. It was hard at first to find a balance between study and socialising but I think I’m finally getting there.
The workload is very different here compared to at Flinders and it’s taken some getting used to. I have classes every day of the week and they mostly run for 50 minutes. There is a lot more work expected frequently such as weekly chapter readings, quizzes and papers. As a procrastinator, it was difficult to get the hang of constantly handing in work but I soon learned that the expectations here are a lot lower and it’s relatively easy to get a high grade. I’m really enjoying my class content and the constant flow of assignments has actually helped me to engage more in my studies. It has also been pretty easy to make friends in class as everyone loves the Aussie accent!
One of the best things about my exchange so far is the family I’ve made with fellow international students. With students from Germany, Austria, Sweden, Italy, Spain, Australia, Japan and the UK it is a hugely diverse group but we have bonded so quickly. We have already travelled to Charlotte, NC, Atlantic Beach and Washington DC and I know we still have many more adventures to come.
My time so far at ECU has been all I could have wanted and more. From spending weekends tailgating and attending football games, going to Fraternity parties, exploring Greenville and just spending time with both American and international friends, I can honestly say I’ve been having the time of my life. I’m already dreading the day that my exchange comes to an end but for now I’m just trying to experience as much as possible by making the most of every opportunity that comes my way!
Emily Compton, Bachelor of Communication and Professional Writing student is undertaking an exchange to East Carolina University during S2, 2018.
Read Emily’s 1st blog post here.