The strange thing I have found out about travelling is that you learn more about your home, yourself and where you came from, whilst living 15,244 kilometres away from it. After my incredible experiences (good and bad) at Millersville University, Pennsylvania I feel as though I will never come home to the same place or person I left at the Sunshine Coast, and I consider this to be a great thing. In my short 2 and a half months in America I have experienced, Halloween, Frat parties, sororities, a shooting, a stabbing, lost luggage, homecoming weekend, Philadelphia and all its glory, Washington and all its monuments, Toronto, Canada, Niagara Falls and many others. But the greatest thing I have found here are my irreparable friends from across the globe. Shortly after I arrived at Millersville I was introduced to the other students studying abroad here, they were from countries such as: Chile, China, Japan, Spain, France, Germany, Romania and a few others from here and there. Instantly this group became an almost second family to me and this made the transition from home a whole lot easier. The connections you grow with people from overseas when you are by yourself are beyond amazing.
As for the Americans they always make things fun and interesting. Whether it’s celebrating every possible holiday or asking you funny questions about Australia’s wildlife. So far I have convinced a number of American students that I in fact do have a kangaroo as a pet, have battled numerous amounts of sharks, save spiders on a daily basis and once I even got asked if “New Zealand was in the middle of Australia”. One of the greatest things I have found with Millersville University is that there is always something interesting going on campus, there is so much campus life and activity that it seems you can never be bored.
I honestly urge anyone and everyone who is even considering going on the SO Study Overseas program, as it has changed my life and the way I see things. Initially the SO program was just a meeting that my mum forced me to go to, I never thought I could afford it or be brave enough to leave the comfort of my home. But I am so beyond glad I did – after leaving Australia for the first time I now have an incredible urge to see the rest of the world and what it beholds. The SO program makes you believe that you can do anything you want, and go anywhere you dream – and I am eternally grateful to them for that.
By Evangeline Keevil