I don’t even know where to start with my time at A&M but to summarise it in one phrase, I’ve had the best year of my life. Its hard to believe that almost nine months ago I boarded my flight to LAX; to say time has flown by is an understatement. I joined two organisations, which was probably one of the best decisions I made and I wouldn’t have half the time I had if I wasn’t apart of them. International Business Association allowed me to meet other exchange students in the Mays Business School, which was really helpful at the start when I first arrived because I had other people to relate to. I also joined a sophomore leadership organisation called Slide and we had a strong presence on campus promoting sexual assault awareness and mental health.
SLIDE EVENTA&M gave me friendships that I know will last far beyond my time here and experiences that are once in a lifetime. All of the friends that I made were Americans as opposed to other exchange students, which helped me to have a more authentic experience and immerse myself.
A&M is located in a small town called College Station. It’s a much smaller town than what I’m used to but I have really grown to love it. Everything in the town is centralised around the university. It’s still only approximately one hour away from Austin and Houston so it doesn’t feel like you’re isolated. A&M has an indescribable culture that I’d never experienced at QUT. You really feel a part of the ‘Aggie family’ and have such a strong sense of pride going to the school. Get ready for Mexican, Mexican and Mexican, deep fried chicken and Mexican. And country music. Texas’ weather is crazy. In College Station I’ve experienced snow, sweltering humidity, hurricanes and negative temperatures. The fall semester is football season. Some of my best memories is tailgating with my friends each Saturday before a game. Tailgating is basically a huge party and it’s really cool seeing everyone come together.
Northgate is where all of the bars are located, I definitely took advantage of the $1 drinks at Shiner Park every Thursday.
I lived at a new apartment complex, Park West. I’d recommend it to anyone staying there because you can walk to campus if you need but it is also located on a bus route so you can take it to class. I liked it because it was pretty affordable (I paid $560/month and had my own room), It’s really social – I met a lot of people on the rooftop pool.
A few highlights:
I went to Austin City Limits music festival.
During thanksgiving, I had the opportunity to go to one of my friend’s house in Brownsville, Texas; it’s a small town located really close to the Mexican border. My friend drove me to the border and I got to see the wall which was cool. I had other friends take me to their family’s lake houses and ranches which was also a really cool experience.
At Christmas, my sister flew over and we travelled to NYC and Colorado.
Spring break I went to South Padre Island, it was a typical spring break experience.
I went to a country music festival at the Frio River and floated in tubes.
I saw the Grand Canyon, went to Vegas and New Mexico.
I’m now in my final weeks at A&M before I head back to home and I’m not taking any moment for granted. It’s starting to feel so surreal and I can’t believe my time is almost over. I’m so thankful that I’ve I made friends that make saying goodbye so hard. A few of my friends here have already booked their tickets to visit me in Australia and I’ll definitely be back stat to visit!!
If you have any questions feel free to email me!