University of Western Australia
The days that seemed so far into the future but are now in the present indicates that my time abroad has officially come to an end. I have wanted to study abroad since my very first semester of college. With a lot of work, decision making, and about four years later, I was finally able to do so. The process to start my journey abroad was difficult for me, as the destination I had my heart set on was not listed on the UH Hilo Student Exchange list. However, I came to terms with settling for a University about a 5-hour flight from my dream choice. As the year went on, I started exploring the UH Hilo Global Exchange website and found that there were different programs that UH Hilo was affiliated with. I did not come across any program that featured my wanted University, but stumbled upon a University that was in the city I wanted to be in. I ended up just about doing everything that was needed to be done for that program when Carolina informed me that I could apply directly as an international student at my dream university. Even though this route would have cost me a lot more money, I was extremely excited, and I quickly dropped the other program. With the help Carolina and the Global Exchange office staff, I was set to attend the University of Western Australia.
Being that this experience took an immense amount of work and a large amount of money, I tried to make the most of my time abroad and attempted to be present and in the moment as much as possible. I have had so many memorable moments in my time abroad that it is hard to choose just one. One of the earliest memories of this trip was making a stop in Sydney, Australia to visit my boyfriend who was there at the time to complete an internship for his engineering degree. It was a memorable time for me because we had been together for three years before this, but we had never spent Valentine’s Day physically together. For the special occasion, we had dinner and watched a play in none other than the Sydney Opera House. I had only seen this place in pictures, postcards, and movies, so being there in its presence and inside to watch a play was such a surreal experience.
During my time abroad, I was able to attend the University my boyfriend also currently attends, build new friendships from all around the world, learn new things about myself and of the world, and, lastly, I was able to strengthen the bond between my boyfriend and myself and grow closer to his wonderful family. I choose this city because of the special people who I know here and had fallen in love with it during my first trip in December 2016. After living here for 6 months, Perth, Western Australia has become a second home for me and leaving here will be harder than ever.