Hi, my name is Jessica McKenna and I am a second year student studying a Bachelor of Design (Visual Communication) at USC Sunshine Coast. I took my abroad semester at Pace University in New York City.
I chose to Study Overseas to experience life in one of the biggest metropolises in the world. The bustling streets of the city allowed for endless inspiration and excitement every day that made me never want to leave. During the first few months, I struggled with home sickness and called home every day, but after I established friendships with people in my classes, the longing feeling I felt for my life in Australia started to settle. I would say finding connections with people makes the whole semester abroad more enjoyable, and it also makes it easier to explore and make further connections with other people.
I would encourage everyone to study abroad because it tests you. Being in a new country, with no connections, pushes you to be more assertive and to take more risks that you normally wouldn’t. The friendships you develop are stronger because you only have each other to lean on and you become more independent and confident in yourself as an overall result of this experience.
There was a quote I was told by a new friend when I moved to New York and found everything different, unfamiliar and harder than I expected to adjust. They said to me that “New York will never adjust to your convenience. You have to let the city chew you up and spit you out a whole new person.” I believe this quote could be used for any country that is visited of an exchange semester because this experience truly does spit you out a new person and you have to ride the wave, go with the flow of the new environment and trust fate has your best interest in mind.
– Jessica McKenna