Sinae Southon studying overseas at Niagara University in the US
As I sit here looking back on my semester abroad, I can honestly say that my time at Niagara University was the best in my life. I will admit, in the first few days I felt overwhelmed, lonely and completely out of my depth. But as classes settled in and life-long friendships began to form, I had never felt more at home.
Although the lack of sunshine and good coffee took a bit of getting used too, nearly every day I made new friends and memories that I will never forget. With my closest friends coming from all corners of the world including France, England, Spain, Italy, India, America, Mexico and even Mauritius it was hard for us not to make every day an adventure. Even the little things like walking to the gorge, pushing through the cold and study sessions with a daily Tim Hortons coffee, snowball fights or even warming up around the on-campus fire pit for hours are some of my favourite moments.
Niagara University really did give me an authentic American college experience. Almost every week I attended a college sports game, frat party (red cups and all) or was asked if I owned a pet kangaroo. Not only that, its proximity to so many amazing travel opportunities meant that in just one semester I was able to explore Toronto and Montreal in Canada, Buffalo, Boston and even visit New York City so many times that I no longer feel like a lost tourist in the big city.
Though these trips were incredible and formed some of my favourite memories from my study abroad, undoubtedly the best part of my experience was the amazing people I have met.
I struggle to string together the words that can truly embrace how extraordinary my time at Niagara University was, I have spent nights dancing until the sun came up, walked to Canada more times than I can count and laughed till I cried whilst eating very questionable noodles in the dorms at 3am. And as I plan my next visit to little Niagara Falls I can say whole-heartedly that I have now found a home and family on the other side of the world.