ORANJESTAD — Last year, in October 2018, I got an email from the University of Aruba congratulating me for being accepted at the University of South Carolina as an exchange student during the spring semester of January 2019 till May 2019. Looking back, I remember how nervous I was when I stepped on the plane to go to South Carolina. I just spent the last four months as an exchange student at the University of South Carolina. Now I am back home, on the island of Aruba. So, what is it like being back home? I will tell you all about it.
The last two weeks before I left South Carolina, I was very busy. I had my finals exams, so I was studying a lot. During the last two weeks, I also had to pack and make sure I had everything done before going back home. There are various procedures a student has to follow before checking out from the dorms. Moreover, I had to say goodbye to all the great friends I made there, thus I tried hanging out with them as much as possible. I tried to convince some of my friends to visit me in Aruba, so we will see how that will turn out.
My exchange semester abroad at the University of South Carolina was a great experience. I am very glad that I decided to take the opportunity to do an exchange semester abroad and get out of my comfort zone. As I mentioned before, I am someone who is a bit afraid of change. It was my first time that I would leave the island and live alone in a whole different country and go to school at a huge university, so for me, it was a big step to take. But I am very glad I did it. I managed to learn so much, not just in the aspect of education, but also for my personal development as well. I am grateful for that because I do see a difference in my way of thinking about certain things and it also gave me a perspective that I am sure I would have not gained if I decided to stay in Aruba instead of going on an exchange semester abroad.
Now that I am back in Aruba, it feels a bit different. The feeling is in a way, hard to describe. However, I do know that I am more open-minded to the idea of studying abroad again. In addition, I am more welcoming towards the idea of change. Lately, I have been thinking a lot about pursuing a Master’s degree abroad. I am not sure where yet, but I still have some time to think about that. Furthermore, my family is very happy that I am back home. They were very excited to finally see me back and wanted to hear everything about my experience abroad. Stay tuned, my life as a student continues and I will share it with you from my dushi Aruba. Q
Maduro, 25 years old, is currently a third-year student at the University of Aruba in the program of Organization, Governance and Management. Louedska took part in an exchange abroad during the spring semester. She was attending the University of South Carolina for the last four months and took this experience as her inspiration for her column Student Affairs. Now with her return she will continue sharing her student life with us from Aruba. The column will be in the newspaper every other Thursday.