Hello dear family and friends!
I decided to write a blog not because I want all of your attention. It’s because if I wrote anyone of you personally what I am doing, the half year would be over already. So enough talking I would like to share my first challenges and impressions with you…
After a lot of cuddling and crying on Thursday I went through the security check with my fresh made viennese colleagues. When we arrived in Frankfurt I had to go through a special security check one more time because the Americans thought I am a terrorist (just kidding on my boarding pass was the number SSSS). The flight to LAX took us about 12 hours. I tried to get some sleep and to watch some films as well (avengers infinity war :)) we met our other German and Swiss colleagues and got our baggage at the LAX airport. We arrived at 2 a.m. Austrian Time and 5 p.m American Time, it was really confusing. Later we were picked up by the driver and brought to our host families which took us another 3 hours. I arrived at 10 p.m and was 25,5 hours awake and completely exhausted. After a quick shower I went straight to bed.
On Friday I woke up at 7:30 a.m and had breakfast with the other exchange student staying at Carmen’s house called Olivia from China. She is the typical Chinese girl who likes to stay inside and watch series and play computer games, boring af. Carmen’s really nice, I love her already. She’s from Mexico and talks English and Spanish with me so I can practice my switch ability as well. I’ve got a big room with a desk, bed, fridge, microwave and some wardrobes as well. Carmen’s house is located on the hill, 5 min foot walk away from the college and 10 min from the beach. She’s got a big balcony with view over the sea and hills of Santa Barbara. At 10 a.m we went to the Santa Barbara City College to do our check-in which took us 2 hours.
Later on I explored the College, Leadbetter Beach with my friends and went shopping in a small supermarket. Afterwards we took the bus to Downtown and discovered the shopping center Paseo Nuevo and the state street with beautiful buildings.
At 5:30 p.m we had dinner (salad with chicken) and then I unpacked my whole luggage and did a yoga session on the big balcony.
On Saturday I had breakfast together with Carmen. Afterwards we walked to the Mesa Harmony Garden. It’s a garden where they grow plants for the foodbank a npo which gives the food to poor people in need. On Saturday volunteers can help in the garden so Carmen and I did the mulching there. It was really funny.
At noon I had to be at the Leadbetter Beach for the beach day with the coral group. I met about 100 other international students and did a lot of stand up paddling, swimming, volleyball, beach tennis and card games. At 3:30 p.m me and my friends went to the Stearns Wharf a popular pier in Santa Barbara. It was really beautiful and a great view.
At 5:30 p.m Carmen made dinner, so called tostadas mexicanas. It’s a crunchy taco and you can fill it with everything you want! 🙂
On Sunday I did my first morning run next to the beach. The neighborhood and the surroundings are astonishing and temperature is cool and really nice.
Afterwards I went to church with Carmen. It’s so much different to our mess in Austria. They have a live band singing joyful songs and at the communion you get wine as well. Furthermore, they asked for visitors and I had to raised my hand and the were all surprised I was from Austria and could speak Spanish and French as well.
After the mess we went to Lazy Acres, a special organic super market (my favorite one!). They have all kinds of products, you can get yourself something warm to eat and they have a cafe as well.
Our next stop was Costco’s. It’s like our Metro in Austria and has all types of products in huge amounts. For example I bought 1,13 kg dried mangos and 3kg of oatmeal.
I spent the afternoon sunbathing, reading and chatting on the balcony. I got to do a quick workout in between as well.
After a quick dinner I took the bus to Downtown and looked through the shops there. The shopping mall Paseo Nuevo and the State Street are amazing, they got all shops like Brandy Melville, Dear Diary, Inspire, Victoria’s Secret and so on.
I walked up State Street until I reached Arrellaga Street and met the other international students for a movie night together. They set up snacks, ice cream, cookies and cinnamon rolls for us and we watched Jumanji.
Then Carmen picked me up and we drove home. I was very exhausted and went straight to bed.
I hope I could share with you my first impressions and I can’t wait for next week to start with the Assessment Test on Monday at the Santa Barbara City College.
To be continued…