• My Home Away From Home

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Aug 30, 2017 | Health

A blog post by Ella Scott:
(Cover Image: Ella pictured with fellow Deakin student Jayke Murray at Spartan Stadium, MSU.)

I was once told that the only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance. And looking back, what a dance it has been. I don’t believe anyone could have ever prepared me for the ride I’ve experienced here at Michigan State University.

Before I left I was required to attend an induction at Deakin into cultural shock and life as a study abroad student. We were taught we were different, deviants from normal individuals within our society because we purposely chose to do what so many feared- and that was stepping out of our comfort zone. That day, instead of scaring or alarming us, they should have instead told us that only outside of our comfort zones did magic happen. Because my word, it’s been a life so far from my normal one and one that has allowed me to experience emotion, places and meet people you wouldn’t even meet when visiting their home country.

I remember asking myself to consider the person I was when I left home and questioned whether I was any different? Or whether I was anything like the person I am now? I’ve learnt that change is a funny thing- it’s inevitable, yet intentional and allows us to grow. I realized that we all require change, some more so than others- I certainly wouldn’t have been to Michigan State if I didn’t believe this to be true.

Never in a million years, did I think I would leave the US being so informed about so many worldly cultures. From drinking behaviors, to family occasions and hobby interests, the most valuable lessons I have been taught came from the culture alone- and not just the US. It’s the simple moments which turned my experience into an irreplaceable one.

This was my realization when I came home and reflected upon my journey:

– I left one country (or two including Canada) and felt like I had travelled the world.
– I have learnt to appreciate everything, from home to family, to friends and to moments, experiences, memories, EVERYTHING.
– I have gotten to know myself on a level I couldn’t have imagined before.

Most importantly, I learnt that the most random, stupid facts whilst at the time had no purpose or meaning, I’ve already used back in normal life and discovered that somewhere, somehow, almost everything has purpose. 

(Ella laughing in snow with friend from exchange.)

To the 100’s of people I have met, from every country countable I say this: Whilst we have travelled from every unique direction, grown up in completely different cultures and societies, all of us, in some weird and whacky way are more similar than we will all ever believe. That is why I seriously had the absolute time of my life. Because no matter who you think you should be friends with, or could be friends with, true friendships aren’t forced relationships. They are, at all times, optional. That is what makes this program itself so unique. I truly do believe that the friendships I made during my time abroad will extend far greater than the boundary fences of MSU (if in fact the grounds of MSU do stop somewhere) and instead for an entire lifetime.

For more information about Study Aboard Opportunities with Deakin please visit our website.

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