The moment that I stepped out of San Diego’s airport, breathed in the fresh air, looked around and saw palm trees and stars in the sky, I knew I had made the right decision.
Ever since I was a young girl I would dream about one day living in California. I used to watch films and fantasize about going to an American university. I never once thought that it could happen, and now here I am, studying at San Diego State University, and I could not be more grateful.
San Diego is a beautiful state full of culture, friendly people, and lots of amazing beaches and outdoor experiences. It’s the perfect place to live and explore. I’ve met some amazing friends already and I haven’t even been here for a month yet. It’s refreshing to be surrounded by such friendly people who are willing to help you, not to mention that American people love the English accent, so that gets me some brownie points.
San Diego State University is everything that I hoped it would be and more. I’ve never gone to a school with such school spirit before. I find it so interesting and fascinating. I went to the first Aztec football game of the year and was absolutely blown away. There were 47,000 people at the game. In England you would only be apart of a crowd that big if you were watching a premier league football game or at a sold out concert, not a school football match. I felt like part of a team – a true Aztec, and it felt great.
There are a few differences in the education system compared to England. Within the first two weeks of being here, I dropped three of my original classes and crashed new ones. In England you pick your area of study, then classes are selected for you and are the ones you stay in for the whole academic year. So I came to America being oblivious to the fact that classes change every semester. Picking every class took me by surprise.
My first two weeks were a bit stressful, as I had no solid timetable, although I cannot complain as I have enrolled in a surf class and a tennis class! I couldn’t believe that I could actually take two fun, outdoors and active classes and actually get graded for them. They both equal to one credit each, I thought that was a truly brilliant idea. I would describe myself as a very outdoors and active person, so being able to take such active classes felt so rewarding and I couldn’t wait to start them.
I feel so blessed and truly grateful that I was accepted into the study abroad program and get the honor of studying at San Diego State University for two semesters. I couldn’t be happier. I live in a beautiful place where I can finally live the life I have always wanted. I study at a school where there is opportunity behind every door, where I’m learning from professors who are industry experts and love what they do. I have only been here for such a short time, but I have already learned so much.
In life we should always strive to take every opportunity offered to us. No matter how challenging it may seem, always go for it. Be courageous, take yourself out of your comfort zone and truly develop as a person. Follow your dreams and never give up, I’m living my dream and couldn’t be happier, you could do the same. Work hard enough and your dreams will come true.
Billie Forbes is an exchange student from the University of Hertfordshire in England. The film, television and new media major is studying at San Diego State University this fall.