As I welcome in my second and, unfortunately, last semester at San Diego State, I can’t help but wonder how it’s February already? I spent an amazing Christmas break here in San Diego with my mum and sister. I was lucky to have them to visit me here in San Diego for three weeks. They got here Christmas evening and were here for the New Years and my 21st birthday!
As soon as I arrived in San Diego, I fell in love with this beautiful city. I’m so grateful that they were able to visit so I could show them the place that has stolen my heart. They got to see the campus and, more or less, the whole of San Diego – including all my favourite places. We went on picnics, bike rides, hikes and visited a number of well-known places. And we were all fortunate enough to get to go to Disneyland on my 21st birthday which is a memory I will never forget.
Being able to experience this quality time with my mum and sister effected me so positively. Being away from family and friends at Christmas is hard. It’s a period of time that is so dedicated to being with loved ones, enjoying beautiful food, having ongoing laughs and taking part in festivities. This was my first Christmas away from home, and it gave me an even higher level of appreciation for my friends. It teaches you the true value of the people that you have in your life. Being able to see my mum and sister and spend so much time with them made the slightly harder moments easy and filled me with happiness.
I now feel so content with life. I feel more motivated than ever to make the most of this study abroad experience and to begin to lay the foundation to my future.
I am now halfway through my study abroad year at SDSU and I could not be happier and more thankful to be here. I have learnt a tremendous amount, not just about my major but about life and myself. I feel like I have grown so much and I am already seeing the positives and how much I am benefiting from this experience. It’s one that I would highly recommend people taking.
It’s not until you live abroad that you realise how different the world really is. There are so many countries that have completely different cultures and ways of life, you don’t even realise how different they are until you actually live in that place and meet people from around the world. I’ve learnt about so many different cultures purely through first-hand experiences and being friends with these people.
SDSU has an outstanding international community so I have been lucky enough to cross paths with so many international students. This has left me with a tremendous international network that I will take through life. I owe it all to study abroad!
I can’t wait to see what this semester has in store for me, especially now that it is February. Although I don’t leave until August , I’ve passed the halfway mark now, so the end is vaguely in sight. I’m ready to make the most of my time and enjoy the life that I live. I’m excited to work harder and to continue exploring this beautiful city and the country that I live in.
I’m excited to make more memories out here with the friends that I’ve made – and, most importantly, to see myself grow even further.
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.