It certainly holds true that time flies when you are having fun. I am almost at the halfway mark of my time at Western Illinois, and I am certainly starting to feel sentimental – thinking about the amazing group of friends that I have made, knowing that I will have them for life, and how they have made my journey in America so extremely special. What I love about being over here is that I am not only just learning about American but about Spanish and Latino cultures and their prominence in the States.
So much has been going on here – I’ve participated in Mud Volleyball in one of the first weekends that I was here and joined Swing Dancing, the Marketing Club and the acapella group Invoxicated. Through these groups I’ve had a chance to attend an AMA Collegiate Conference at Aurora University, as well as venturing to Springfield, Illinois to go to a Swing Dancing event called The Groove (think Footloose).
But whilst it has been great to explore parts of Illinois, college and classes have been an interesting experience. Before I came here, I was advised that college is very different to University in Australia and boy, that still resonates. The first couple of weeks, it felt like I was back in High School in terms of the schedule. It’s been nearly three years since I’ve had homework so it was a major throwback when I started attending classes. Exams are more like tests and are multiple choice, so I am definitely not complaining.
It’s hilarious that whenever I talk to people, they look at me, wanting to ask where I am from but are too afraid to ask. When I first arrived, it took me a while to get used to the American accent, expecting the Australian accent whenever I started talking to people. Fortunately I have maintained my accent, with many of my friends wanting to learn specific phrases or try and demonstrate their attempt of the accent, to a somewhat success… It’s funny after being here for the past two months, I am starting to understand how Americans get Australian and New Zealander accents confused – something I never thought I would understand.
Next week we have a three day weekend and looking forward to exploring downtown Chicago and seeing the Chicago Blackhawks play ice hockey against the Edmonton Oilers!