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The Student Media Site of Georgia College & State University

Bobcat Multimedia

The Student Media Site of Georgia College & State University

Bobcat Multimedia

A reflection of my time at GC as an international student

Rian Fearnehough

After six months of anticipation, it was finally time to leave for the airport to head to Milledgeville. I was both nervous and excited, as this was the first time I was leaving England on my own. Leaving my parents was hard, but I knew it would be worth it. 

The flight was smooth but cramped. As soon as I landed, I felt the warm air and instantly began to regret wearing joggers. Even at nine at night, the heat was unbearable. 

After one night in a hotel, it was time to head to Milledgeville. I was picked up from the airport along with some other international students, and our excitement quickly started to build. I had a nine-hour layover at the airport between having to leave the hotel and board the transport to Milledgeville, which did not help my jet lag. 

You hear about jet lag, but you cannot understand what it means unless you go through it: an unending headache, endless fatigue and being helplessly unable to stay awake. My experience was not helped by the fact we had a meeting at 8 a.m. despite arriving at our room at 1 a.m.

I met the other international students at the meeting, which was good. Very soon, I started to miss home, especially walking around Walmart, which reminded me of shopping at home with my mom. 

After a few days and numerous calls back home, I started feeling better. I was ready for classes to begin. My classes have been different than what I got used to taking back home, with the amount of work required for classes in the United States taking some getting used to. 

Now that I have adjusted to the workload, the classes I take at GC have become enjoyable. 

Sharing a dorm room is also a new experience. It is strange compared to what I am used to. Thankfully, my roommate and I get along, as sharing a room with someone you do not like would not make for a pleasant experience.

Being from England, I am used to rain and thunder, but I have never experienced anything like the storms here. The thunder sounds like a bomb is going off. The first time I heard it, I could not believe it was just thunder.

I went to Atlanta with the International Club during Labor Day weekend. I visited the Georgia Aquarium, World of Coke and Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which made for a good day out. 

Atlanta is a big city that could not possibly be explored in the eight hours we had. I enjoyed my time in Atlanta but wish I had more time there and could have experienced the city with my family.

One of the hardest things for me to get used to has been the time difference for soccer games. Premier League games are aired at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday mornings in the U.S. I have been struggling to get up for them and have only successfully been awake for one game so far.

Nothing beats watching soccer at the pub with your friends in England, which is very hard to do at 7:30 a.m. Pubs are social places, and the local community bars just do not feel as welcoming or comforting as the pubs back home. The bars in town are great, but I miss going to the pub, as the two are not comparable. 

Something that surprises me is the sheer scale of the country. I knew it was big before I came, but I did not understand quite how big. 

The lack of public transport makes getting around without a car impossible. In England, anything you need is within walking distance. The same cannot be said about America. Getting to the airport is a chore unless you can find someone to give you a lift.

The people here have been very friendly and welcoming, something us Brits are not, which has helped me settle in and feel comfortable here. Moving abroad alone is scary, but once you settle in, it is an incredible experience. 

Being a part of the International Festival was fun, as it allowed me to talk about home to anyone interested. I was asked if I had met the queen. I then had to remind the person who asked that she had died. Other than that, the event went well, with people really enjoying the quiz I prepared and the authentic British chocolates I provided.

My experience at GC and in Georgia so far has been incredible, and I cannot wait for next semester, when I plan to travel around the U.S.


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