I had never lived out of home before, let alone another country: I didn’t really know what to expect, but I felt both nervous and excited at the same time.
I didn’t really know much about Wyoming before the exchange but upon arrival I quickly began learning! The orientation days were great to further understand how my semester would play out and to meet and make friends with other exchange students in the same situation. One of the first things I learnt in Laramie was that the people there are super nice and friendly. Within the first week one of the orientation leaders took some other exchange students and I to The Hidden Falls. It wasn’t the most impressive waterfall as far as waterfalls go, however it was a cool and pretty waterfall surrounded by a beautiful natural area, which we had to walk through to reach the waterfall. That was the second thing I would learn: That Wyoming is known more as an incredibly naturally beautiful state than for any city. Less than a week later I hiked Snowy Range Pass where we went to a lookout. I also went base climbing at Vedauwoo, camping at Medicine Bow, watched American football, visited Jackson Hole, Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Tetons, visited hot springs in Saratoga and experienced an American Halloween or two haha.
Over the thanksgiving break I was invited to stay with my roommates family where they took me to Devils Tower National Monument, Mount Rushmore, Mount Crazy horse memorial. They also took me shooting a range of guns and to see a Buffalo (Bison) ranch. Finally I visited the local ski fields at Snowy Range a few times to go snowboarding, which was some of the most fun I had on my exchange, before spending a couple of nights in Denver and coming home. Apart from the amazing places and experiences I had, I also met loads of cool people and made some amazing friends (hopefully some life-long ones), learnt lots culturally, academically and also socially and I probably became a little more independent all while experiencing the American dorm experience!