Wish your life were like the movies? Go and study abroad!
A semester in Arizona was enough to get me hooked on going back to The States for a taste of their lifestyle – they have everything to offer. I cannot recommend study abroad programmes enough.
School spirit in America is so contagious you’ll find yourself wearing school clothing and going to every sporting event possible before your time is up. Even if, like me, you don’t watch sport at home all too often, you’ll be cheering along (and losing your voice) with the best of them.
The campuses over there are on a different scale completely and beautifully designed: The University of Arizona was certainly no exception with 98% of all facades in red brick to keep in the style of the original buildings. The facilities are second to none, with the recreation centre taking up an entire city block! Coming from little old New Zealand will likely be very overwhelming, but rest assured everyone jumps at the chance to help you- especially after they hear your kiwi accent! Use it wisely, the power of having an international accent in college is strong and you’ll have them weak at the knees and wanting to help you with your work or take you to their hometowns or both.
If you can afford to, live in the residence halls and really get involved in the American student life as much as you can, but try to balance that with international friends too. This should give you a good balance between getting involved in school and ‘local’ life as well as being with people that want to travel as you do.
Arrange your timetable to allow for as much travel as your budget will allow and do travel as much as it will allow- it’ll never be cheaper for you than it is while you live there! Don’t worry too much if you need to skip the odd class because your professors are very approachable and want you to do well in their classes as well as enjoy as much of the country as possible. You will do well in their classes; my international friends also on exchange all reported that their classes at home were more difficult than those on exchange.
Most schools over there will require that you take out their health insurance policy so that they know that you are safe and have access to healthcare, but you will also need to think about the rest of your stuff. Have you taken out insurance to cover your belongings? What if you need medical assistance and a trip home to be arranged for you? There are things beyond your school’s mandatory insurance that you need to take care of in case of misfortune befalling you.
Worldcare offer comprehensive and basic travel insurance policies to suit your needs; your belongings that are less than two years old won’t be depreciated; travel mishaps; unlimited medical treatment costs with 24/7 assistance call centres available.