Extending my stay for another semester
Ok so there was no way I was ready to leave the states yet. Before leaving Australia I had zero intentions of staying longer than the planned 6 months. I remember my exchange adviser telling me to match up more than four subjects in case I did indeed decide to stay an extra semester. “As it is a lot easier to sort that out in the same room rather than from the other side of the world”. I remember nodding my head politely, however having no intention of doing such a thing. ” Why would i waste my time doing all that extra work for something i don’t need” .
But here I am now kicking myself that I didn’t listen, as it cost me huge amount of time in the long run… more than I should bore you with explaining. Anyway the take home message is listen to your exchange adviser! Oh and think carefully about how to tell your parents you wont be home for an extra 6 months, its a nice surprise ha
However now all is good and Im having the time of my life again, the weather is slowly progressively getting warmer which in turn gets everyone else happier even myself. It was a touch hard being in winter and seeing photos from everyone back home in our warm summer. That’s the closest I’ve come to being home sick, however i don’t think I would qualify it as that.
The plus side of the winter is it gave me the opportunity to see snow for the first time! it was awesome playing in it for a couple of hours, then i came to the realisation it has a time limit on how fun it is, and slowly depreciates after an hour. oh and I got the nice experience of having to shovel it. they failed to show me that on the movies, you just see big plows coming through and doing it all, well not exactly the case for where I was staying ( Delaware ) It involved muscling it with snow shovels for what seemed like hours and hours. with this snow it gave me the opportunity to have that white Christmas, Just like we see on the movies every year starting from around December the 15th. It was strange, I spent it at my girlfriends house ( oh yea another addition that this exchange experience has given me, who would of guessed… not me!) as weird as it sounds it just didn’t feel like Christmas because i wasn’t sweating in the dry heat in Canberra ( normal tradition) however spending it with a caring family made the family holiday a good one, even though i couldn’t spend it with my own.
While im on the subject of family holidays ill mention my time on thanksgiving. GREAT DAY, I may not be able to appreciate the significance of the Indians and pilgrims but i tried. The one thing i did understand though was the Football all day, ( watching on tv and playing in the backyard) and the food.
There’s also the australia day i missed out on. We got a bunch of Aussies together and celebrated however it, however american seem to love our culture as well, ha so we ended up being the minority towards the end of the day with about 40 americans just doing really really bad impersinations of us ha, they just cant get it! So it didn’t exactly feel like like home, “unautenthicness” filtered its way into our day and before long it was just a house party and people playing beer pong ha. Being over here for it in 30 degrees Fahrenheit was a weird feeling. As girly as it sounds what do u wear on australia day when its to cold for boardies and thongs?
I feel exactly the same way about my exchange at Sophia University, Japan. I have extended for another session because I do not feel ready to go home, or like I’ve accomplished what I came on exchange to do, particularly with regards to my Japanese language skills. I finished my current session on two short weeks ago and am now enjoying my Spring Vacation. I actually travelled to the airport the day that I initially had booked my flight home but instead of boarding a plane bound for Australia, I packed my cabin luggage an am now back in Okinawa where I first began my overseas adventure.
It’s such an odd feeling knowing that I would have been home and sometimes I wish that I hadn’t extended, like when I found out that my best friend is engaged via Facebook rather than being told in person but then I remind myself what I have already accomplished and all the possibilities that await. It’s strange even to think that next session things at Uni will change. I have become so used to this life that was so foreign only five months ago.
All the best with your studies and hope that you continue to enjoy your exchange 🙂
February 24, 2011 at 2:38 pm