Camarillo, USA: California, we miss you! (by Valeria)

So our semester abroad is officially over and it feels like it hasn’t even begun yet. Let’s say this first: this will be one of the best or even the best, most fun and interesting time of your life. 

We certainly all were at that point in our 2nd semester where we were questioning our upcoming time abroad. Will it be too far? Will it be too long away from home? Won’t I miss my friends and family way too much? Won’t it be too difficult to study in another language? Will this all be even worth it? This list of doubts could probably go on and on, and even though it might be very far from home and you miss all your friends, the bottom line is: it’s worth it. You are going to see and experience things you’ll never be able to forget. 

Whale watching tour

Still, there are some downsides (as we mentioned in the previous post) you might want to consider. Overall California is one of the dreamiest places one could wish for. Whether it’s adventure, fun, nature or shopping you’re looking for – you won’t have to look long, because you’re in a state full of possibilities and activities everywhere you go.

But California has also been in a drought for lots and lots of years and is suffering from wildfires annually. Therefore it was just a matter of time until it would hit really bad, which was the time we were in Camarillo. 

So one day after our school day was over, we saw a huge smoke cloud rising up behind the CSUCI. We knew that this happens from time to time (also the Macromedia students from last year were evacuated), but we didn’t expect it turning out SO bad. As you’ve probably seen on the news, there were two fires burning down an awful lot of neighborhoods in the northwest area of LA. Of course our university got evacuated as well, for as long as the fire and the bad air quality was present. As horrible and heart breaking as this all was, it turned out to be a 3 week break (including thanksgiving) that we could use for traveling. But still, looking out of your window and seeing a purple/blackish sky full of ascending smoke and dust, or driving past Calabasas smelling the burnt debris all over the car with the A/C off, leaves a scary feeling.

View from our condo during the fires

Gladly we were all safe and besides some major ups and downs, it was – again – all more than worth it. Just imagine yourself living at the beach, going to school 3-4 times a week for a few hours, doing your homework at the pool, and in the meantime explore everything and every place you can, all together with your  (new) friends! 

(And if you’re still not convinced, just think about how awesome Christmas time in California is!)

Enjoy :)