Something I never thought about before study abroad was just how much my network base would grow. I’ve not just met and connected with American people, but people all over the world.

The Exchange programme at San Diego State is one of the best I have ever seen, I have met friends and potential professional networks from all over the world. It’s an eye-opening experience to feel so connected with the world, something I have never experienced before.

Something that has also taken me by surprise is how connected I feel with Europe. Living in England, you barely hear of a British person that would class themselves as European. We are very set on being British and not European. Whilst being out in America I have been able to connect with people from a variety of different places in Europe. It’s been so eye-opening and I’m learning so much.

I feel happy to be a part of Europe and I’ve learnt just how similar the different places in Europe are. There are differences, of course, but I have always focused my attention to them instead of the similarities. It’s been so refreshing and comforting to make friends with people from Europe. They understand exactly how I am feeling and I can talk to them about home and compare the similarities. Being on the other side of the world and being able to talk to people who are so similar to you can really be rewarding and remind you of the good you have at home.

Studying at SDSU has allowed me to already build a strong network. I recently worked with an international film crew and entered the campus MovieFest competition. I worked with people with a strong Mexican background, and the talent spoke fluent Spanish moreso than English. There were also Americans and me and my best friend from the same University in England. The film was in Spanish with English subtitles so I really learnt valuable teamwork skills, and furthered my communication and organisation skills.

We worked extremely well together and had an amazing seven days producing the film. All of our hard work seemed to pay off as we won the Silver Tripod Award for best sound. We felt extremely proud and thankful for the award and we now have the possibility of going to nationals!

Studying in America and at San Diego State is benefiting me in ways I could have never dreamed of. I’m learning so much and feel more career-driven than ever. I find myself inspired more and more as the days go past; the only thing that upsets me is the thought that I am only here for one year.

Study abroad is teaching me not just about America but about the world. I feel so lucky to live in a day and age where we find ourselves so connected through technology. Rewind back 100 years and I wouldn’t have Skype or FaceTime and I wouldn’t be able to so easily speak and still see my loved ones and family at home.

I can’t wait to experience the rest of my journey – and at the same time I wish time would slow down so it doesn’t pass so quickly!


Billie Forbes
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.

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