Here is the deal guys, being internatioal has its obvious benefits you get a broad network, learn about a new culture, explore new foods and spices, travel around and see nature or urban environments, and so on. You get a lot of positive impressions all around from being on exchange. But what does this really mean?
Here is an example of what being international can do for you…so during my last exchange in England I met lots of American students that I hung out with and we had a blast. So now when I am in the US I can actually visit these friends. This weekend I decided to go and visit my friend that I met in England, she lives about 2 hours by plane from here. I book the ticket and was off to see her. When I arrived she took me around the area showed me places that I probably would not have find by myself. Also I got the chance to hang with her cool family and eat some nice American dishes. Then we went to her friends place to watch the Super Bowl which was really cool to be able to experience the Super Bowl in an American home with Americans was priceless.
I wanna thank my friend, her family and her friends for showing me a good time. This is what being international is all about, this opportunity was because of the fact that we became friends in England.
So if you are unsure about applying to studies abroad, I am telling you don’t be unsure just do it as Nike would say because you will have the best time of your life hands down. So go out, explore, talk to a stranger, meet people, eat, drink, visit and most of all have fun with the experience. You can always come back home and it is better to have been out on exchange then regret it later in life!
So as you may or may not know I choose to live on campus at the lofts. As a student here you can either live on campus or find your own place. I choose to live on campus for several reasons and in this entry I will write about those things.
The lofts are located on campus which is in Downtown Atlanta, I will write about the area in a different entry, which sometimes can be shady but don’t worry you will be fine if you have lived in a big city.
There are different housing possibilities for international students, although I believe that the lofts is where 85% of the international students house. There are about 300+ residents here all that attend GSU. You have 14 floors with different sized rooms and downstairs you have a reception that makes sure people that do not live here will stay out and they will help you with any issues you may need. On every floor you have and ”RA” a resident that organizes activities and his almost like the floor ”mom/dad” because you can always ask them for any kind of help and they will assist. As part of that position it is their duty to be reachable at certain hours by phone. This creates a good, safe and helpful environment for the people living here, I have already been out with my floor a couple of times and there is a kind of a family feeling (of course if you don’t want to take part of this you do not have to, really up to you).
The lofts have a good learning center where you can go do homework or borrow a computer and get things done for school because believe you me you’ll need it. There is a laundry room that is free and there are a lot of machines available to use and I have never needed to wait for a machine, just go down there and get your wash on.
I live on the 12th floor and I have a suitemate, an American student, some rooms you actually share rooms but my understanding is that they put internationals in the rooms so that they have a private space. The apartment is nice and big, we have a dishwasher and micro also you have your own sink in the bathroom area which is pretty nice. I’m going to post a couple of pictures of how the lofts look from the inside and out so you can get a feel for it.
So why did I choose to live on campus? Several reasons, one big point for me was being close to school and not having to take the Marta (Atl’s subway system) to school my classes are about 5-10 minute walk from my door. Living at campus gets you connected as well; you meet a lot of new people and get info on what’s happening on campus so you’ll always have the possibility to do something on your spare time. I barely have time for my blog…..bye!
Greetings from America
I have been in Atlanta for almost a week now so I will try to sum up a weeks impressions in one entry.
The flight over here was quite tough, it was almost 19 hours from door to door, but hey I made it. My first impression of the US and Atlanta are positive a lot of friendly people and you can go a long way by just asking people for help and directions.
I chose to live at the GSU campus in the University Lofts to be more precise. First impression here was quite mixed. I share an appartment with an American student, which is ok, you have everything you need but buy beding before you come here. My first night I slept without a pillow nor a blanket, that’s nothing you want to do…trust me. The rooms are good enough to stay for one semester but you can also stay outside of campus. The people that work at the Lofts are mainly students that attend GSU and let me say they are great, helpful, friendly and they always try to solve your problem in the best way.
The first day of orientation you go through a process with filling in forms and making sure that you are a legal visitor in the US, there is a lot to do but the ISSS (International Student and Scholar Services) makes this a lot easier, and you get free lunch which as students you know is great.
The staff at GSU is very friendly and helpful just ask and they will assist. Me and 2 other students did not have any bedding (as I mentioned before) but we asked Grace at the ISSS what we could do and she drove us all the way to Target (store like Coop but cheaper) after work just to help us out. Students here are very nice too you can always stop anyone and have a chatt. My classes start tomorrow so I will write about that a bit further down the road.
I have met a lot of new people from student to staff members to random folks at bars and streets. I have done a lot already during my short stay and I will leave you with this picture from the Georgia Dome where I got to see the Atlanta Falcons beat Seattle Seahawks 30 – 28.
(reservation for typ-os so please have that in mind) Continue reading