Amy Coney studying overseas at NC State University in the US

My name is Amy Coney, I am 19 years old, and for my semester two 2017, I studied abroad at NC State University in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA. Words cannot explain how amazing this experience was! Studying abroad has always been something I have wanted to achieve since high school so I was so thankful for USC to offer the opportunity to complete my goal and it will forever be the best thing I have ever done. An amazing aspect of the semester abroad is all the beautiful, diverse places I got to see from travelling the California coast before my semester started, travelling across the States to places like Dallas, South Carolina and Washington DC to finally ending my trip in snowy NYC. Not only do you have the opportunity to travel within the host country but places nearby as I am currently writing this from London with a trip to Ireland planned for next week. The opportunities of travel are endless, and I say go for as many opportunities as you possibly can while on your semester abroad!

Traveling was incredible, but the best part of my experience was all the amazing people I met from all around the globe. Living in a mixed international student and American student dorm was the highlight of my trip as it really created a strong community/ family feeling and I never was lonely or homesick because of it. Everyone is super eager to meet people as we were all there for the same reason, we were all also enthusiastic to learn about different cultures, and from living in the international dorm I learnt so much about diverse cultures and made lifelong friends from all around the world. The best memories made are the ones made with the people you meet, and the amazing people I met are what made my experience. I will forever miss them, but it is exciting to have so many new friends around the globe as I am already planning my next trips to see them all so really the experience never ends once you leave the university!

Another amazing aspect was the campus itself, the NC State student community has so much love for their school and peers, and the school pride is something I really loved. The facilities were absolutely incredible, the location was perfect and offered so much to do in and around Raleigh, and the best part was definitely the involvement from everyone in general campus life and all the different college sports, the American Football culture was by far my favourite aspect!!

This experience not only gave me amazing memories and experiences but also looking back on the experience the personal growth in myself is something I would never have gained from being on the Sunshine Coast. Living in another country and experiencing the lifestyle and diverse cultures it really opens your eyes and mind to various aspects and allows you to become much more open-minded and educated which I absolutely love. I also grew a lot of self-confidence, and the experience has really allowed me to grow and change for the better.

If you are thinking of doing an exchange, please do! It is the best experience you will ever have in your life and will allow for so many opportunities and growth that will change you for the better and provide memories and friendships that will always stay with you.

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