Time to go

The past week has been one of the most difficult periods I’ve been through. Having to say bye to the most beautiful people I have ever met has made watching the clock tick closer to my departure, even harder. Though I spent my last week doing all my favourite things: being at the beach, going to national parks, seeing everyone I love, I still felt very melancholic. Having the most amazing year of my life had a price, and leaving definitely wasn’t something I was prepared for.

Coming home has been nice. I’ve surrounded myself with people I haven’t seen or even spoken to in a year. I’m sleeping in my own bed and enjoying my mum’s cooking. But, there is still a void. I am no longer the same person I was in California, and in no way can I articulate just how amazing my year was.

California, and UC Irvine has shaped me as a person. I’ll treasure my experiences forever. I thank everyone who made the past year so beautiful.

Stay Cali,




Spring Break

Aneesa Piracha, University of California, Irvine

Spring break was the highlight of my year abroad. We started in Cancún, Mexico, indulging in street food and napping on the beach. Once that became too boring, we head out to Havana, Cuba. Havana was everything I could’ve imagined and more, I don’t think I can find the words to articulate just how buzzing and beautiful the city was, so I have put together a short photo diary so you can see for yourselves.




Six Months In

Aneesa Piracha, Physics, University of California, Irvine, USA

As of today, it has been six months since I started at UC Irvine. Six months has been long enough to feel settled and at home but, still feel like I only got here yesterday. I have reached a point on this wild trajectory, at which I don’t totally feel at home nor do I feel like I’m on holiday. Reaching this milestone has helped me realise my entirely different approach to life, purely based on the fact that I know I am only going to be here a short while longer.

I have put myself in alien situations, tried new sports and hobbies and befriended everyone under the sun, all because I understand that the opportunities I will face on my year abroad will never find me again. My new-found carefree attitude is the one thing I will treasure the most from my year abroad, and I hope to bring it back with me to Manchester and through life beyond university.

To anybody considering studying abroad and using this blog as guidance: it may seem cliche but, you truly will develop as a person whilst studying abroad, and the experience will bring out traits and qualities in yourself that you may not have noticed. Go for it!

2 countries, 6 states, 1 very tired student

Aneesa Piracha, Physics, University of California, Irvine, USA

Hello everyone!

I must admit that this post is coming a little late, sorry about that!

My winter break was absolutely insane. We started in Portland, Oregon and road- tripped up to Vancouver, Canada through Seattle, Washington. I then came back to SoCal and slept for a week straight before hitting New York for the new year! It was absolute chaos but I wouldn’t have had it any other way, here is a compilation of clips I took over the trip:


Aneesa Piracha, Physics, University of California, Irvine, USA

My first few months in SoCal have caused some pretty big paradigm shifts. The SoCal ways have definitely rubbed off on me and my views have adjusted accordingly. Here are the three main things I have learnt being in SoCal:

Continue reading “3 THINGS SOCAL HAS TAUGHT ME”


Aneesa Piracha, Physics, University of California, Irvine, USA


It has only been a month in SoCal and it already feels like home. The Californian university experience is a total 180 from Manchester-and I am absolutely loving it. The past few weeks have been a complete rollercoaster of sorority recruitment, beach bonfires and weekends in LA. I have put together a few videos taken over the past month so you can see it for yourself! Enjoy!