This has been the most incredible year for me. The first half of the year was filled with working, friends, fun, and USC. The second half has been filled with friends, fun, Adelphi University and New York City.
It’s been over three months here in New York and I have had a unique experience that you can’t get in Coolum Beach. Everyone tells you how quickly your time abroad will go but when you first arrive and have four months ahead of you without your friends and family, you immediately disagree. They’re not wrong though!
When I got accepted into the Study Overseas program at USC, I had already decided that I wanted to attend Adelphi University and yes, it was because New York City is only a 40 minute train ride and $8.25 away. I have always wanted to go to New York and I realised that studying abroad would be an excellent opportunity to fulfil my dream. That was my initial pull factor but being here has become so much more than just the city. I’ve made friends here that I feel like I’ve known my entire life! From all corners of the world, we have found comfort and friendship and made memories together that we’ll remember forever.
As everyone knows, New York City is considered one of the most vibrant, exciting cities in the world and it definitely lives up to its reputation. I’ve achieved one of my goals by attaining a real Broadway music playbill (four actually!) I have successfully navigated my way around the subway system (making few mistakes along the way and ending up in the Bronx at times); seen the Radio City Christmas Spectacular; celebrated Halloween and Thanksgiving by watching the parades in the heart of the city; had “breakfast at Tiffany’s”; visited the Museum of Natural History; became a true NY Yankees and Islanders fan; seen the entire city from the top of Rockefeller Centre; met several Broadway stars; explored the most gorgeous part of the city, Central Park many times; been part of the craziness that is inevitable in Times Square; eaten at the well-known Chipotle too many times; over spent on pretzels and Starbucks; and spent many hours clothes shopping at Roosevelt Field Mall. Being so close to Canada has also given me the opportunity to fly there for a night to experience the beauty of Niagara Falls and the breathtaking scenery of Canada.
Adelphi University is in a perfect location on Long Island! Not only is it just 40 minutes away from the greatest city in the world, it is also situated in Garden City, the most expensive place in America to live. A beautiful 15 minute walk will take you to Garden City Village; a quaint shopping and café strip that decorates their stores for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Adelphi provides all students with the chance to attend trips to see Broadway shows, sports games, movies, shopping trips and novelty events for extremely cheap prices. As an international student, this is a great way to explore Long Island and New York and experience things you never would have expected.
I strongly suggest that if you’re considering studying abroad you should just do it! As a young 18 year old, I am proud to say that I have lived overseas for four months on my own, learning about different cultures, changing and growing as a person, being thrown way out of my comfort zone, enhancing my independence, experiencing the “college life” creating friendships I’ll always remember, and fulfilling one of my lifelong dreams.
Studying abroad is one of the best decisions I have ever made; there is no other way to think of it. If you’re considering it, go through with it right until the end. It is a decision you will never regret!
by Laura Francis