One thing that really surprised me about the whole experience of studying abroad was how welcoming and eager to talk to me people seemed to be in my first few weeks (and for my entire time there for that matter). Even after being there a few days, it became clear to me that most Hoosiers (the name for people from Indiana) have never even met someone from the U.K before. The way I spoke was something out of a movie for most of the people I met, I suppose in the same way most American culture is to me. Upon meeting people, I would receive a quick second-glance at the sound of my voice which would almost certainly be followed by the words “Oh my god, do you have an accent?”, so I mean it literally when I say that I must have heard that sentence at least once a day.
I have been using the time in between my studies to see as much of the U.S as I can. I went with friends down to Anderson County in Kentucky where we went bungee jumping, and then the next day went hiking and cliff jumping in Red River Gorge national park. The bungee jump was one the best experiences of my entire life. The 240 foot drop from the platform of a disused train bridge to the Kentucky River beneath induced a feeling of fear, adrenaline and excitement of which it would be hard to come by again. And Red River gorge was an adventure in itself. We spent the day walking along trails in the dense forest underneath the red hot sun, clambering along beautiful rock formations such as what’s known as the Sky Bridge. A natural rock formation of a bridge which the trail leads you over and then takes you back around underneath. Later that day we also came to a part of the river that runs through the national park known as Jump Rock. Here people were swimming in river, which was surprisingly pleasant, and deep enough so that you could jump off a rock around 12 foot above the surface of the water that protruded from the banking.
In terms of my studies, the relaxed nature of my lessons has certainly become a little bit more stressful as the pressure starts to build up. Luckily for me my classes are more coursework based as opposed to having exams to take. I really thrive off of the individual and creative nature of my assignments. I have learnt so much practical knowledge about the things that interest me in terms of my professional goals. For example I now know how to fully devise and professionally format a screenplay. And I can utilise the settings of a camera in a creatively enhancing way, whilst also being able to develop my own rolls of film and print the photographs myself in a dark room. Furthermore I know how to think in terms of lighting and plan accordingly when filming for my Video Production class, and my Telecommunications Management class has taught me how to think in terms of running my own freelance business, which may very well be my entry point into the film and television industry.