Macquarie Politics student Laura Hibbert writes of her exchange to Arizona in the United States.
“As if you’re not nervous enough turning up for your first class as a foreigner, try turning up soaking wet from sweating in the 45 degree heat which no one else seems to be affected by.
This is Arizona. You knew it would be hot, but were told ‘it’s only a dry heat’. Dry or not, an utter lack of shade and no cooling breeze at night doesn’t help.
This I would have to say, is the only downside to an exchange at Arizona State University and one that is easily forgotten once you attend your first college pool party.
My time at Arizona State was spent with some now lifelong friends, both international and American, and it’s a time that I would not trade for anything.
The American college lifestyle was everything I thought it would be – tailgating before football games with the fervently spirited Sun Devils, meeting sorority girls and fraternity guys and of course Halloween, or Hallo-week as it turned out to be.
Being a politics student, studying an American Politics class was also an eye-opener, occasionally having to defend the Australian system after being called out for the ‘Australian view’ on issues such as compulsory voting.
Arizona is also in a great location. I was lucky enough to take trips down to Mexico (only a four hour drive), go up to the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley, Las Vegas and San Diego, just to name a few.
My most unique experience would have to be attending German Oktoberfest in the boiling hot Arizona and watching the Weiner dog (Sausage dog) races.
Only in America!”