Kheanna Walker: Canadian Takes California

Name: Kheanna Walker

Hometown: Montreal, Canada

University (in Canada): Concordia University

Year: Sophomore 

Major: Communication Studies

What made you decide to study abroad and why did you pick California?

BECAUSE CALIFORNIA IS SO DOPE. To be honest, I chose Cali because I wanted to see what the big LA fuss was all about. I want to work in the entertainment industry - it's been my dream since I was like 10 years old. Los Angeles is the entertainment capital of the world so I was set on studying here. Best decision I could have ever made. 

What has been your favorite thing about living in LA? 

Oh wow, so many things! Being a journalist in LA has brought me so much joy and happiness because finding stories to write about or events to cover is the easiest thing. There is ALWAYS something going on. Living in LA is what made me discover my passion for hiking. In Montreal, hiking is not really a thing... I've hiked more in the past few months than in the last 20 years combined - it's been great. And also, THE WEATHER. Skipping winter was pretty rad. Wearing shorts in February was unreal. 

What is one struggle that you didn't expect to face while going abroad?

The biggest struggle is definitely not having a car. One thing I did not really think through was how massive LA is. It's like the size of a country. Luckily I have friends who drive when we go out, and I'll just pitch in money for gas. Getting to places by public transit is so hard! Thank God for Lyft and Uber. 
 
What do you miss the most at home, besides your family? 
In Quebec, there is this dish called Poutine. Basically, it consists of French fries and cheese curds topped with a light brown gravy. So delicious. If you ever go to Quebec, you neeeed to try one! I miss Poutine - it's literally a taste of home.
Besides my family, I miss my friends. It's hard to replicate the connection that I have with certain people there. 
 
 
Do you have any advice for someone that wants to study abroad?  
Don't have any expectations. Just be willing to accept every new experience that comes your way. Having that mindset will move mountains for you. That mindset literally changed my life... I'm not the same person I was 8 months ago.
 

You travel often! What has been your favorite place to visit so far? 

Damn... that's a really hard question because there is something that is incredibly beautiful about every place I've been to so far. I really can't choose. San Francisco, Joshua Tree and San Diego are all tied. 
Cabo, Mexico was also pretty amazing. I went there in March to experience the ultimate American Spring Break and boy was it crazy... lost my phone on the first day! Haha, it was pretty nuts.
 

How has your internship at MUSE helped your career?

This internship has helped me in many ways. I'm learning more about the way the entertainment industry works and I'm gaining valuable hands-on experience. From interviewing on the red carpet, to contacting PR managers, to reading and writing various articles... This is amazing practice for what I want to do with my career. I am excited to say that I will be covering my first music festival in 2 weeks. It's called Further Future, and it will be taking place in the Nevada dessert. This will be an experience of a lifetime - I actually get so excited just thinking about it.
 
What are some of the goals that you'd like to accomplish before leaving California?
I definitely want to get a tattoo. I want one on my back. Being a big yoga enthusiast, I definitely want something related to yoga practice... Still in the midst of figuring it out though.
I want to be able to put together a demo reel of the work I done with MUSE, like something that I can send out to future employers to give them a taste of the experience I have gained here.
I'm also dying to go to Santa Barbara, because I haven't been there yet and I hear it's a lot of fun. So I'm definitely going to try to make that happen.  
Besides that, I just want to be able to absorb the rest of the time I have left here.
I still can't believe I only have 2 months left - it's pretty scary.