Stepping into my dreams across the pond

By Linda Tran |Staff Writer|

Living in a different country is like starting over again, I feel like a freshman.

A year ago when I started my third year of college I decided to take my university experience to another level.

As much as I enjoyed the sunny days in California and the familiarity of the cities at home, I have always wanted to study abroad.

After attending all of the meetings, the requirements to study abroad intimidated me, but I realized the fear of accomplishing all those achievements were the first steps of being responsible.

A year has passed and all of the hard work has led me here today to Swansea, United Kingdom.

The day I left LAX to study abroad was the day CSUSB started their fall session. It was weird knowing that I wouldn’t be studying there for a year.

As much as I dreamed of travelling to a different country, saying goodbye to my family and friends for a year was a hard thing to do especially since I have never been on my own.

This trip has definitely showed how much capability and strength I never thought I had. I have reached out to people, asked so many questions and now I know my way around campus and the city.

Swansea is a beautiful city and living by the beach is one perk that makes this place so enjoyable.

I fear that when I go back home to California my driving will be rusty because I have been walking everywhere and using public transportation to go to places.

I have read about culture shock but I think I have been more fascinated and entertained than stubborn and depressed about the culture.

Though the climate is very gloomy people seem very happy and friendly here. I have met lots of people from so many different countries.

Besides missing the food at home, one other problem I have encountered is that some people here think I am from Asia and not from America. It doesn’t bother me that people have mistaken my nationality, but I realized how difficult it was living with two cultural identities at home and now trying to integrate one here.

But, like every new beginner we all learn and adapt. We also grow without even knowing because our dreams and our passions drive us to do so.

It still feels unrealistic to say that I am making my dreams come true. Every time I look out of my window I ask myself how did I get here?

Besides enrolling in classes I have also signed up for the radio station club here on my host campus.

Everything is working more smoothly than I thought and my first day of class will be on Oct. 3.

Studying abroad is a great opportunity to travel as well because of how close other countries are from where I am.

I am beyond excited for what is ahead of me. It has been only six days since I have been here and I am already loving it!

Stay tuned for the next article and to read more about my time abroad check out the specially made blog about my time here at Swansea at


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