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Endicott College (USA)

Study Abroad Testimonial - Sarah

Name: Sarah Reynolds
Program of study as CQUni: Bachelor of Learning Management
Host Institution and Country: Endicott College - Beverly, MA USA
Period and year of exchange: Fall 2013 August-December

When I decided to take on my student exchange through CQU I knew that it would be a once in a life time experience. At the beginning of 2013, I decided to leave CQU and Australia to pursue my dreams of travel. I chose to complete my second term at Endicott College Beverly, Massachusetts in the United States of America. Endicott was close to Boston, four hours from New York, situated on the beach, surrounded by beautiful forests and offered great courses and on-campus accommodation which allowed me to experience real college life.

After arriving in Boston I was greeted by my international student Mentor and was taken to Endicott College. I already knew I was going to have the time of my life as everyone was so welcoming and friendly. The grounds of the college were covered in green grass, winding paths and flowers. In the centre, as you drive in the main entrance is a spectacular lake with multiple water fountains and if you continue on the road you will see two of Endicott's three beaches. The buildings are spread out among the grounds and include a separate business and science building, education and nursing building, and The Arts centre. Endicott also has the main dining hall, library, chapel, campus safety, gym, post centre and sports fields for the many sports the students participate in. The college also has many scenic cross-country trails in the forest behind the college as well as beaches to swim and relax on. Endicott could be called a stereotypical college like those you see in the movies. The college has their own football team, cheerleading team, dorm rooms and activity clubs. The resident halls are also spread around the campus and are allocated to either lower or upper classmen.

I was assigned an upper classmen building as I was a junior (third-year student) whereas freshman (first-year students) are given their own building with other freshman. I lived in pod F within Hawthorne Hall with seven other girls. Hawthorne is a three story hall and has 6 pods, each with 8-12 people in each pod. The pods are similar to a four bedroom apartment with a kitchen, common area and two bathrooms. These apartment style buildings are only available for sophomores, juniors and seniors as freshman usually have a single bedroom inside a large building and they must share bathrooms with hundreds of other freshman. My room was large and included a single bed, wardrobe and desk that faced out onto the forest. I was very pleased with my room and the housemates I spent my semester with. The first night I arrived I met my roommate Lauren who I instantly connected with as she too was an early childhood education major. I also met my other house mate Lexi who became one of my best friends. During my exchange, Hawthorne held many events such as a Bruins games in pod B and breast cancer fund raising in pod A. The college also held events such as parties, football and basketball games, pumpkin carving for Halloween and craft events such as making your own cactus pots and cookie decorating. As I was an exchange student, I was required to participate in the Ocean to Ocean (020) club where all the international students come together and plan events. We attended a Boston Celtics basketball game, a county fair; we went to Salem for Halloween and went ice-skating in Boston at Christmas. Apart from on campus activities, I joined my house mates for dinner at local restaurants, travelled to Niagara Falls with three other international students, travelled to New York for a weekend and also spent a traditional Thanksgiving in Connecticut with my roommate.

Traveling places was very easy as Endicott has a scheduled bus service that takes you to the train station where you can travel to Boston for $7USD. There is also a Zip car available to use on campus. The zip car requires you to have a drivers license and driving history check before gaining access to the car which you can drive anywhere at a small cost. I found the Zip car my favourite mode of transport as you drive on the wrong side of the road which is very different and fun. At one point in my exchange, I had difficulties with finance and my budget. When using the Zip car you must have available funds. This was a challenge for me being away from home and not being able to work. I arrived in America with over $3000AUD. After I arrived I also received a scholarship from CQU which went towards my accommodation. Travelling overseas does not allow you to take many personal possessions. I believe I did not account for all the winter clothing, boots, toiletries, extra travel and dining out expenses needed for the duration of my stay. Although study is important there is plenty of free time which usually means spending money if you wish to go into the city. Next time I would defiantly save more money before travelling for a long period of time.

My exchange to America at Endicott College was absolutely a great experience. I met many people from all around America and around the world. Endicott has a great international office, club and mentors that are always available to help in any way. The international office was my family away from home. This was the place where all the international students began their study abroad together. Until the day I left, we would eat every meal together, travel together and go places together. One of the fears I had about going on my exchange was that I would not make any friends. Now as I look back I know I have many friends that made my experience the best it could be. I learnt about Egypt, Haiti, Malaysia, Korea, China, Canada, Pakistan, Italy, Mexico and many other countries. I was able to share my cultural values as well as learn and involve myself in other cultural backgrounds.

There were many reasons I wanted to complete my exchange in America. I had never seen maple leaves fall from trees in fall, I had never watched a basketball or American football game and I had never seen snow. I wanted the chance to experience what I have seen in movies. I wanted to dress up for a real Halloween, I wanted to make a snowman, I wanted to go to famous landmarks and cities, I wanted to meet new people and most of all wanted to learn and become more independent. My exchange took me to so many places. I got the chance to teach a grade 4 class in a local Elementary school, I was able to touch the waters of Niagara Falls, I was able to walk through Central Park in New York City, I was able to make multiple snowmen and I was able to excel in my subjects. I was given the privilege of dining with the president of the college at his own home and I also made the dean's list for outstanding academic performance; all of which I would not have experienced if I had not chosen to live my dreams. If you are looking to experience as much as you can in a short amount of time I would choose Endicott College in Beverly Massachusetts.