I was overwhelmed with multiple emotions from excitement to fear of the unknown as I had never been anywhere outside Swaziland, which is home and South Africa where I go to the University of Johannesburg.
It wasn’t till I was on the plane that it all hit me how real the experience was. I was scared but also very excited. After many hours of flying from Johannesburg to JFK Newark where I had mixed my connection flight to Indianapolis, I felt out of place and scared for my life. I knew I needed to quickly come back to my senses and know what to do so I get to my final destination. So i hide my fears behind my smile and prayer for safety in a foreign country. Eventually I got to Indianapolis to find three of the most warm hearted human beings I had no idea would be a huge part of my five months there (my diversity coordinator and two exchange students from Ghana).
There was snow everywhere and my excitement helped me forget how cold it was as it was my first ever encounter seeing snow and I was happy. My university, Butler University was very beautiful and not the biggest university I had ever seen however if I may say it was a site for sore eyes. I really was nervous to meet everyone and also anxious to experience the culture of my surroundings. Everyone was so accommodating.
However a few days later I was breaking down feeling like I didn’t fit into that environment and was very home sick. It took me a month to get past that feeling and after that I felt at home and almost didn’t want the experience to end. Days seemed to be moving way to fast once I felt that way. I got a chance to meet amazing people, travelled to Chicago and Tennessee whilst I was there. It was an amazing time in my life and I wish I could go back to seeing my friends and those surroundings. I realized there is so much to the world than what we see at home, you just need to be open minded and want to experience and see this big world. I would do it again and will forever cherish the memories that I created in my time as an exchange student at Butler university in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Ms Nqobile Zwane
Faculty of Humanities