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Exchange Journal
American Campus Life 101 with Stephanie Roland

My top priority for studying abroad in America was to have fun.

I was told by some American friends who had come to Australia on exchange that San Diego State University was the ‘party college’.

However, the waiting list for on-campus accommodation was into the high hundreds, so a fellow Macquarie student and I decided to find and apartment nearby.

We (finally) found an apartment block with a vacancy that was within walking distance from campus and snapped it up that same day.

At first I had been against living with another Aussie, as I wanted to meet Americans, but San Diego proved itself to be brimming with friendly and helpful people, and we went to a party in our block the night we moved in, and a frat party that weekend.

I later discovered that living on campus was not all it was cracked up to be, as the rules were much stricter than I was used to. Thank goodness we had moved in to the student-filled diplomat apartments!

The beauty of living in San Diego was, apart from the year-round summer, that it was close to everything. 

The San Diego State University campus, USA

I was able to go to Los Angeles regularly (I met Daryl Hannah on my first night!) and the Mexican border was only a Trolley ride away. I also visited San Francisco, Anaheim (Disneyland), Orange County, New York, Canada, Arizona and Las Vegas (amazing, but only if you are over 21!).

My advice for people going to America is to get involved, be friendly, and take up invitations, after all no-one knows the place like the locals.

Generally people are friendly and willing to help you out. I definitely had a blast at SDSU and have taken home some American traditions.

Stephanie Roland
Bachelor of Creative Arts in Writing
Studied at San Diego State University for one semester.

Macquarie students are eligible to apply for a travel grant though Macquarie International. For exchange opportunities visit MQ Students Going Abroad.


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