“Do you ever get homesick?”
This is a question that I am asked weekly, by friends, classmates and particularly by those who I have just met.
The answer is yes, of course I get homesick. I attend a college that is 10,000 miles away from my hometown. While I go home once or twice a year for breaks, I now live in a country where people speak with funny accents, live by different rules and drive on the wrong side of the road.
My name is Tiffany Dun and I am from Melbourne, Australia. I play for the Le Moyne tennis team and was recruited by the previous coach. This is my second year studying at Le Moyne.
While I live on campus, I suppose you could say that my commute is the longest. My flight home is 25 hours minimum, without including travel time to and from the airport. Once I am home, I don’t want to leave, but once I’m here, I don’t want to go home.
Studying in another country is definitely something that I would recommend to everybody. The amount that I have learnt here extends beyond the classroom. I have learnt things about my own culture which I had never realised before, and I am extremely lucky to have had this opportunity to travel while studying.
In Australia, we have different slang and shorten every single word possible. I’m constantly learning new things about my style of English. Even today, for example, I realised that Americans don’t refer to “sunglasses” as “sunnies” like we do back home. As I was typing, my computer has also realised I am in a different country now and auto-corrected the word “realise” to be spelled with a “z” rather than an “s.” Sometimes, even though we both speak English, my roommate and I still have trouble with our language barriers.
If you have the opportunity to do an exchange program or studying abroad, my advice is to go for it! Travelling is one thing, but actually living in another country is a completely unique experience. You will make some incredible friends, many of whom you can argue for hours on end about your differences with. You will absolutely gain a greater perspective on the world, and learn things about yourself that you can only learn when you’re living independently.
Sometimes, it just takes being away from home to truly appreciate where you’re from. Above all else, studying at Le Moyne has made me grateful for the place where I grew up. I am lucky in the sense that I chose a great school with a tight-knit community, and have some fantastic teammates and friends who I can call my American family.
Written by: Tiffany Dun, '19, Psychology major