By Emilie Chacon |Staff Writer|
It’s been three months already since my arrival to San Bernardino as an exchange student and it was an amazing journey.
My friends and I speak often of our time remaining and we can’t help but feel nostalgic.
We do miss our families, friends and our home, but the experience here is something so unreal that we are not at all excited to go back to Canada.
I always wanted to study abroad, but if you read my last article, you will remember it was not an easy choice to leave my boyfriend in Canada. But because I am graduating, this was my last chance and I decided to do it before having regrets.
Of course, those experiences are made to learn about new cultures, new languages and new people, but I have to admit, San Bernardino was an attractive location for the fact that it is so close to many places I wanted to see.
One of my main goals was to travel this part of the country as much as I could, and I did. I had the chance to visit a lot of cities in California, Nevada and Arizona and many iconic places.
I can’t count the number of hours spent in a car full of people or the McDonald’s where we stopped to eat or just to use their free Wi-Fi.
Yes, we traveled a lot, but we went to our classes too and surprisingly enough, college here and college in Canada are pretty different.
At first, our classes usually lasted three hours and we only had one per week.
Also, we were surprised by the high amount of people who arrived really late or didn’t come to class at all (even on exam day).
Even though I really like California, I have to admit that I miss local food and our traditional poutine; a Quebecers meal consisting of French fries, cheese curds and gravy (I know, it sound weird, but I can assure you this is delicious!)
Unfortunately, campus housing puts all the exchange students in the same building.
As a result we did not have the chance to meet a lot of Americans.
As many of us were French Canadian (most of us from the same college), the normal reaction was to get together right away.
Did I learn a lot from American people and culture? Probably not as much as I wanted, but I made friends for life.
I know that I will see some of them back home and this is a richness that I bring from here. I can’t wait already for our first dinner together back in our “real life.”
Honestly, it was one of the most amazing experiences of my entire life and I encourage you to live something similar. If you have the chance to study abroad, jump on the occasion and make the most of it!
I’m leaving San Bernardino with a heavy heart and the head full of memories, but without any regrets.