Moving Across the World and Making Myself at Home at SDSU

When I landed in LAX two weeks ago, my mind and body had not yet fully understood the crazy adventure I was about to embark on. The car ride to San Diego on Aug. 19 was a moment of realizing this transition. I had officially left my home country Brazil and all of my friends and family to pursue higher education on the other side of the world.

I could not be more excited.

Arriving at the front desk of the Zura Residence Hall was a moment I had been looking forward to for months. Getting the key to my room and my official SDSU RED ID was the first confirmation that I was now a part of a bigger community of brilliant young adults.

“The orientation days were a good opportunity to meet some other people who are on the same boat as I am. I met people from Germany, Scotland, Spain, Panama and the list goes on”

My first reality check happened right as I opened my room’s door. I had no idea how I would fit all of my clothes, shoes, utensils and other belongings in the room while also saving the appropriate space for my two roommates. I should have listened to my mom when she told me to pack less things… sorry mom!

On a more positive note, I for sure discovered a more organized side of me I didn’t know existed. I thought I would have such a hard time putting everything away, but I actually managed to find a place for everything without invading anyone else’s space. I was very glad I arrived earlier than my roommates, though — that way I had more time to settle down and get used to our room.

My first week of living on campus consisted of getting familiar with the school’s buildings, activities and events at the International Student Orientation. The orientation days were a good opportunity to meet some other people who are on the same boat as I am. I met people from Germany, Scotland, Spain, Panama and the list goes on. They really helped me feel less lonely during the first week since the campus was still empty and I was the only person living on my floor at the residence hall.

The only nice thing about being all by myself was that I didn’t have to share the bathrooms with anyone else. I definitely took that for granted too soon.

It was amazing to see the campus filling up and everyone moving in. I was especially happy to meet Natalie and Ashley, my roommates. They are so incredibly caring and loving, which makes me excited to live with them and share our lives here.

I was also eager to see some familiar faces on campus. I was an exchange student in high school in the academic year of 2016-2017 in the LA area and some of my friends that I went to high school with are now attending SDSU. To see them again was like diving into a pool of beautiful memories that I want to keep forever. I look forward to having a great year with them and that our friendship grows to be even stronger.

As my first week here came close to an end, it was time to prepare for classes and get all of my school stuff organized. I was so scared of being late to my first class that I arrived 20 minutes early for it. Judging by everyone else standing outside of the classroom waiting for the professor to arrive, I assume they felt the same way.

I cannot express how relieved I was when my first professor was so kind and sympathetic to us. For some reason I had the impression that all of my professors would turn out to be very serious and not fun. It was the first time I was glad to be wrong.

Of course I still have to get used to this new routine of walking to classes on campus and grabbing lunch with people I just met, but I can already say that moving all the way to San Diego from Brazil was the best decision I could have made. All of the opportunities that the school has to offer are marvelous and I hope to get as involved as possible with the life on campus.

The people on my floor and dorm were so welcoming since the beginning and are always helping me when I need help with the language. I am excited for what the rest of this first semester holds for me at SDSU.

I know that no matter what, I will try my best to make a good time out of every situation and face challenges with a positive attitude.

Julia Bertassoli is an international student from São Paulo, Brazil. She is a first-year television, film and new media production pre-major. Before coming to SDSU she was an exchange student in the Los Angeles area. 

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