Lili studying overseas at California State University Monterey Bay
From the moment I received my acceptance letter in the mail I knew I was about to embark on an amazing adventure and a year to remember, but there is really nothing that can prepare you for the experience you will have while on exchange because your experience is as unique as the people you will meet and every bit as incredible as you hope!
From the first day I have met the loveliest people, from all over the world, all who want nothing more than to share an experience and embrace the opportunity to enjoy every moment. After a long flight, another delayed flight and very delayed-shuttle bus pick up I could not keep my eyes open any longer, as excited as I was to finally be here I simply could not keep my eyes open any longer or muster up conversation. As it turns out, some of the closest friends I made here happened to be on the same bus- some even sitting next to me- we all started chatting as we jumped off the bus into the foggy Monterey morning and we haven’t really stopped since!
Every weekend is a chance to escape- Monterey Bay is in the perfect location for weekend adventures. The first few weeks were an absolute blur of adjusting to living in a new country, meeting new people and classes (well mostly frantically studying and preparing for exams so the weekends are free!)
This experience has been like no other, a surreal experience because it is so different from a travelling holiday where you pass through as a visitor. It is the experience of living somewhere, and the daily routine of classes where you could almost feel as though you were at home, until the weekend arrives and you jump in a car- San Fransisco, Los Angeles, camping or full moon hikes in Big Sur, having a relaxed weekend around Monterey Town or hiring a car and driving into the Nevada desert for a birthday weekend in Las Vegas (safe to say a birthday I will not forget!)
And I’m only halfway through the semester!
I cannot recommend the experience of exchange enough- it is an experience that is worth saving for, it is worth every effort that it takes to get there because the places you go and especially the people you meet will truly change your life.