Dear friends and family,
It’s February and I am well and truly into my exchange experience here at Grand Valley State University in West Michigan (go Lakers). It is cold, it is quiet, and it is way more stressful in regards to assessments. In Australia, each subject would have me do three assignments. Here, the professors give you as many as they want. Right now, I have close to 40 to complete before the end of the semester.
Before getting to this side of the States, I had a short bit of fun travelling via Taiwan and Toronto. In Taiwan, I took a free four-hour tour around the city provided by the government and saw the Lungshan temple and the National Palace Museum. I also ventured outside of the airport a second time to see Taipei 101 from the top of Elephant Mountain. While on the stopover, I enjoyed warm soya, egg & basil pancakes, and a Taiwan beer.
In Toronto, I was able to revisit some of my old haunts including staying at the home of a family I used to babysit for and visiting my old workplaces Saving Gigi’s and the Game & Hobby Zone. I spent as much time as possible with my best friend Chase, reconnected with movie night pals Zander and Brennan, and caught up with Sarah. Three main highlights from the trip were ice-skating with ex-professional ice-skater Brennan, running from the sauna into the freezing Lake Ontario with puppeteer Jamie, and finally meeting the family I donated eggs to. All this travelling brought a resurgence of my travel bug drawings (see below).
Now in West Michigan, I am spending the next few months completing my second-last semester of my double degree. I’m holed up in a two-bedroom apartment, with no roommate because she didn’t show and am restricted in what I can do because the area is pretty difficult to navigate without a car. It’s been a month since arriving and I’m already part of many groups including singing with the acapella group Groove, scoring the role of Paulette in the university’s musical, and joining a belly dance troupe and criminal justice society. I’m also part of the leadership team for a newly formed international organisation at GVSU.
The rest of the month I have been making friends, attending as many GVSU sports games as possible and have been planning my adventures for Spring Break (Florida > Louisiana > Tennessee)! I’ll let you know more in the next blog.
Thanks for reading,