As the first semester is close to finishing, I can’t help but ask myself where the time has gone. Thank god I’m here for two semesters because there is no way that I would be ready to leave. The past couple of weeks have been very busy and stressful; I’ve been busy filming and finishing projects, studying for finals and recovering from being ill.

Yet I have still been having the time of my life.

After recently experiencing my first Thanksgiving, I have to say that I absolutely love the holiday. I love how it’s so similar to Christmas in the way that everyone gets together with their family, there’s lovely food cooked and it’s a day to remind ourselves of the things that we are thankful for.

I love the fact that there is no present giving involved with the day. People too easily get caught up in buying the perfect gift for people, losing sight of what Christmas is really about. Even though I’m not American, Thanksgiving is definitely a holiday that I will continue to celebrate when I’m back home.

image8I spent my Thanksgiving at my apartment with my roommate who cooked us a phenomenal meal. For someone who had never cooked a turkey before, I have to say she gave a solid effort as it tasted amazing. Even though it was just us two, we had a great day.

Once the food was cooked we sat and said the things we were thankful for. I said I was thankful to be here in America living my dream and thankful for good health. We shouldn’t just be thankful for our lives on Thanksgiving, we should say what we are thankful for every day. With everything that is going on in the world at the moment we should be thankful everyday for families, good health and a roofs over our heads. Being away from home really teaches you just how much the support of your family and friends means to you, and you begin to appreciate them in ways you never imagined.

Studying here at SDSU has taught me so much and I still have another semester to go. I’ve met some amazing, truly motivated people and I couldn’t be happier. Although I am sad that I now have to say goodbye to all of my European friends that I have met (they were only here for one semester) I know we will stay in contact, and I plan to visit some of them once I’m back in England next summer.

Studying at a university with such a good study abroad programme has led me to cross paths with so many international students, for this I am thankful. It’s comforting to know so many people experiencing the same things as you are and understand the emotions you’re feeling.

image6Reflecting on the semester I can definitely say that the work ethic here in America is very high. I’ve been involved in so many productions and projects. I’ve been so busy – busy just the way I like it. America has taught me that hard work is always rewarded, and every day I feel more and more prepared for life once I finish school.

I’ve worked on three outside film projects this semester and the level of professionalism on them has been incredible. I have worked with some really talented students on some amazing films and I can’t thank study abroad enough for giving me the opportunity to do so.

The semester isn’t over yet, I still have finals to study for, but Christmas is just round the corner and I can’t wait to experience it here in America. I have a number of events lined up, including ice skating, seeing Christmas lights turned on in numerous locations around San Diego and the arrival of my mum and sister who get here on Christmas Day. I’m counting down the days till they arrive here so I can show them this beautiful city and we can do some travelling.

But until then, it’s hard work for the next two weeks. Then I can’t wait to enjoy myself and have the best Christmas ever with my family.


Billie ForbesBillie 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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