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The Lone Star State

On the 5th of January I stood in Sydney airport quickly saying goodbye to my family as to avoid anymore-unnecessary tears before I walked through the tunnel to jet off on my exchange adventure. After a year of planning everything down to the final detail it is crazy to think I am over half way through my semester exchange in the Lone Star State. Yes TEXAS. I would be lying if I told you the majority of people I told weren’t shocked with my destination of choice all posing the question “why Texas?” And my answer is not because as they say “everything is bigger and better in Texas”.

Before beginning University I had a strong desire to study overseas in the US and  attending UTS presented me with the opportunity to do so. Having never visited the States before I could have chosen to study anywhere, however my mind was made up. Growing up with  friends who were Texan born and raised it always intrigued me as to how proud they were to be from Texas and this was something I wanted to experience, to find out why exactly.

Over the past three months I have lived in Georgetown, Texas and attended the   little liberal Arts school, Southwestern University. Coming from a large University back home in took some time adjusting to the way they run classes in that there are no lectures and each subject has classes of about 20 people that meet twice a week.  As a Business student undertaking my electives over here I have been able to study a wide range of subjects outside of the business sphere and with a schedule that has allowed me to travel and experience different parts of Texas outside of my town. My exchange has also been different from others in that I have got to experience it with my boyfriend who also happens to be studying over here and funnily enough in the same state. Together we have got to explore our school towns of Georgetown and Abilene as well as Austin, Dallas and San Antonio. In visiting different attractions throughout Texas I have not only learnt more about the place I have called home for the last 3 months but it has opened my eyes to how different the culture is and very noteworthy the accents of people within each city, all the while creating unforgettable memories with my best friend.

Living out of home for the first time in my life definitely took some getting used to, as did college life as it is so different to back home. It has without a doubt pushed me in a fantastic way  to grow as a person and has given me the opportunity to become more independent. I don’t think I ever fully understood why college over here is seen as such a big thing. Since being here I have first hand witnessed how it is a huge period of growth for those leaving high school and entering the world of adulthood. Yes the social side is fun, but it also provides students with the opportunity to learn how to live independently and not rely on parental figures as much. Personally  being able to immerse myself into this lifestyle of college away from home and explore another part of the world at the same time has been an experience that I am incredibly grateful for and am excited to do more of. It has sparked my passion for travelling and reminded me of how important making connections with people from all walks of life is especially going into a career in business management.

For those reading this who may not has considered going on exchange I strong encourage you to look into it as it is an experience that I could not recommend more highly. For someone who is a big people person however tends to worry more than I should, going on exchange has pushed me out of my comfort zone and brought out a more strong willed and confident side of me. For that very reason  it has been an experience I will treasure and never forgot.


Keziah McPhie

12601062  – Bachelor of Business


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