From Montreal to Los Angeles: Exchange Student Bianca Marrocco

Have you ever wanted to study abroad? It might seem like an intense and daunting experience but current exchange student Bianca Marrocco can break it down for you! Coming from Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Bianca is spending two quarters in the wonderful sunny Los Angeles. Read on to find out the differences between countries, Bianca’s favorite things about Los Angeles, and advice for anyone that wants to make the temporary leap to another university!

Name: Bianca Marrocco

Year: 2nd (out of three – so kinda like 3 out of 4)

Hometown: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

University (in Canada): Concordia University

Major: Communication and Media Studies

 

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

Ever since I can remember all of my hopes and dreams revolved around travelling. Studying abroad was just one of those things; I dreamt of living in far away cities and so when my home university gave me the opportunity to study abroad, I jumped at it. It was reasonably affordable, I got credits back toward my degree and I got to pick whichever city I wanted to study in the world—basically I couldn’t say no. I’m studying Communications with hopes of being a screenwriter, so L.A. was a natural choice. I get to take Television and Film courses here and meet several amazing and incredibly generous professors and students.

 

What has been your favorite thing about living in LA?

There’s almost too much to choose from! If I had to choose one thing, it would be all the people, both local and international, whom I’ve met here. Don’t get me wrong the, pretty much constant, sunny weather is great, the unlimited food options are nice and endless entertainment avenues are cool, but the people I’ve met here are just out-of-this-world amazing. There are people here who I’ve only known for a couple months, who feel like life-long friends, and that’s pretty special. Also, now I’ll always have a place to crash when I travel, so win-win.

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

Time management! I came to Cal State LA thinking I would be bored because of all the free time I would have—boy was I wrong. I’m taking five classes, working part-time for the University and trying to see everything this amazing state has to offer; basically I’m always so busy. When I get the chance to just hang at my apartment and watch Netflix it’s always so appreciated, #Blessed.

 

What do you miss the most at home, besides your family?

I mean obviously I miss my family, friends and my cat (mostly my cat TBH); but strangely I miss speaking more than one language on a daily basis. Montreal is a predominantly French-speaking city and getting to speak two languages everyday is something I never anticipated missing. Also I’m genuinely afraid when I go back I’ll have forgotten everything and will be mercilessly mocked by locals.

What are some of the goals that you'd like to accomplish before leaving California?

When I first came out here I wanted to meet people, even really just one person, with whom I could build a professional relationship with. Someone who shares my humor and work ethic and was interested in creating and crafting stories that were creative and innovated. That’s still what I aim to achieve, but I’ve also softened a little on the whole professional part of it all. I’m here to make friends, experience the L.A. culture (haven’t been to Disneyland yet, who’s with me?) and cultivate personal growth, all of which I think I’ve done to a certain extent.

 

Do you have any advice for someone that wants to study abroad?

A little advice for any student at Cal State LA who has similar dreams of studying elsewhere, your dreams are attainable. With some research and help from the wonderful International department (the people who make it all happen) you can broaden your worldview and become a more confidant, well-rounded person. If you want it to happen, it will. It’s all about breaking it down into a series of really attainable goals and crossing them off your to-do list until you’re on your flight to a new and exciting adventure.