Jake studied abroad at the University of Mississippi in the USA as part of his History degree at Reading. A few months on after returning to Reading after a semester abroad, we find out how he made the most of his time there.
So my study abroad experience is finally coming to an end. I absolutely cannot believe that my time in the United States and at Ole Miss is pretty much up, and that soon I will be boarding a plane headed for home. These last few weeks have flown by in a whirlwind of exams, parties and visits to other parts of the nation. Recently, I endured the stress of finals week and the novelty of juggling writing essays, studying for tests, and attending classes as well as the other million things I have had to do. But after those were done with it was time to celebrate and look forward to enjoying some well-earned time off over Christmas. Then came the dreaded last day in which I had to bid farewell to Ole Miss, my fellow international students and American friends. This was much more difficult than as I had imagined it to be a few months ago and indeed I am fairly reluctant to leave. On the bright side I have made many good friends from all over the globe whom I plan on staying in touch with, and while not overly enthusiastic to return home I am excited to see everybody there.
Since my last post I met up with my Dad, Brother and American family in New Orleans, Louisiana and explored the historical town. We enjoyed a few drinks on the world-famous Bourbon Street and took a tour of the Mississippi river on a traditional paddle steamer. The city certainly has a lot of character and is incredibly lively at all times of the day, particularly in the French Quarter where were staying. Then over Thanksgiving I decided to take a last minute hiking trip to Colorado and see the Rocky Mountains for myself. This was been something I had always wanted to do and so this week-long break provided the perfect opportunity to tick something off of my bucket list. I can safely say that the views did not disappoint even slightly. The mountains, forests, and the hiking trails were all breath-taking, beautiful and something I am never likely to forget. Despite the freezing weather and snow (-10 °C at one point!) the warm reception I received from the people of Denver made the trip all the more worthwhile. Again this was just another amazing thing I was able to do as part of this whole experience studying abroad and I feel very lucky to have been able to do so.
I am currently staying in Memphis, Tennessee for a weekend before I fly back home next week and I’m taking this time to relax and do a few touristy things. I managed to catch a Grizzlies basketball game last night and pretend to know what was going on, and today I visited the home of the King himself, Elvis Presley’s mansion and estate at Graceland. This weekend has also provided an opportunity to reflect on my time here. Studying abroad in the United States was something that I had wanted to do well before I even applied to university and all of my expectations have been met and then some. To anybody reading this debating whether or not to sign up for a semester or year abroad, I have said it before but I’ll say it again, just go for it. Take the plunge and go on an adventure of a lifetime.
Missed Jake’s last blog post? Catch up here: http://bit.ly/2kWn3eU