Hannah Hamer studying at Adelphi University in New York, US

IMG_0250.jpgWhen chatting to friends, family and other people who had already graduated from university, a surprising amount of them confessed that one of their biggest regrets was not taking the opportunity to study overseas. That’s not something I wanted to regret, so I signed up for the Study Overseas program. Between then and now it has been a daunting but oh so exciting adventure.

I boarded the plane and I had no clue what I was doing. But as soon as I arrived at my new home in New York, I loved it right away. Everything is different and everything is changing, but Adelphi, at least, is incredibly welcoming and friendly. The International office is so helpful with absolutely everything. And the fellow students are always offering to help out and show you around. Keep in mind, an Australian accent will make you a load of friends!

It’s exactly like the movies. It really is. New York is one big clique, in the best way possible. Sometimes I catch myself walking through the busy streets of New York City and just think, “How special is it that I get to live here!”

I sit here typing this blog post in a quiet Starbucks, the setting sun shining though the windows, a Christiana Aguilera ballad playing on the radio, and pumpkin decorations crowding the path outside. As I reflect on the 2 months I have had here and imagine the 2 months to come, I have butterflies because it has been the most beautiful experience.

People told me that some days I would want to give up on the whole adventure and go home. But so far, it hasn’t even crossed my mind. Expect for when I’m standing outside in 5-degree temperatures and it’s not even winter yet. Like, really!?! Honestly though, I am almost half way through my time here and I can’t help but feel that another 2 months wont be enough. If I could extend and do another semester here I would, in a heartbeat.

Adelphi University is beautiful. Squirrels keep you company as you walk along the paths lined with trees, that are now turning orange, red and yellow. There are baseball, soccer and basketball games all on campus. They even have cheerleaders to complete the college sports game experience. I love that the students and staff are proud to be apart of Adelphi. And what’s even better is that Garden City is only a easy train ride away from “the best city in the world”. You could spend years living in New York and still not see it all.

The more time I spend here it becomes more about the friends I have made and less about the city I am living in. The international students have really gelled together and we have become like a family, having “family dinners” each night.

To anyone who is reading this and thinking of applying for the Study Overseas program, just like I was this time last year, all I can do is encourage you to do it. It might be nerve-racking, but it’s not the type of decision you will regret. You have amazing people at the USC Study Overseas office that will help you with the entire process so go have a chat to them. All in all, I am learning lots, making great friends and essentially living the dream. So what are you waiting for!? Go for it!

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