I’ve been in Minnesota, America for exactly one month now. I was so nervous about moving my life to America for a year but from all I have experienced in this month, the fear, the stress and the immense change have definitely all been worth it. It’s been everything I expected but then it’s also been so new and unfamiliar too.
The first week consisted of an immigration check-in, some university policy information and then also some really fun social events for international students ran by the GLOBE society at Carlson School of Management. There was a summer BBQ, tour of the Twin Cities and the Minnesota State Fair where everything is deep-fried, I tried some fried cheese curds, chocolate bacon and deep fried Oreos. The food was amazing. The fair is also famous for ‘Martha’s Sweet Cookies’ where you buy a huge bucket of cookies for $10. We also experienced our first American football game, Minnesota vs Oregon State. We won but I have no idea how the rules work in American football, it’s nothing like our football or rugby. I have bought a season ticket so I will hopefully have mastered the game by the end of the year. It all has been so new and overwhelming but also exciting and of course meeting people from all parts of the world is one of the best parts.
I moved into my accommodation a week later (as it is off-campus). I’m staying right in the centre of ‘Dinkytown’ which is the student area. The accommodation is so nice; Americans do not do student living like we do in England. I live in a town-house (four bedrooms, five bathroom) apartment with three American girls who all have been so friendly and warm towards me, the accent is also a bonus. I started class that Monday and currently am taking an advertising, journalism, negotiation and buyer behaviour module. The campus is huge with the Mississippi River separating east bank from west. It was a little stressful trying to find the right buildings but google maps saved me! I walk to class each day; the walk is really pretty especially as you cross the Mississippi. The work here is also very different than in Manchester. Instead of doing one final exam at the end of the semester they have a more continuous approach to work. I have weekly assignments and quizzes so it is key to stay up-to-date.
As for Minnesota itself, the state is beautiful. Although it has a city vibe it is surrounded by lakes, the Mississippi river and many trees and green landscapes. There’s plenty to do and see – there is even a Brits Pub! The weather has been really nice but apparently we are in store for the worst winter yet with temperatures to reach as low as -20 degrees Celsius. I’m also heading to Chicago at the weekend and have also booked New York at Christmas. I’m excited to travel to new states and truly experience America.
So far America has been really amazing and I can only hope it will continue to be so.
Also N.B.- Very few Americans own kettles and most places don’t sell English tea-like Yorkshire, so it’s been quite a struggle for someone who usually has eight cups a day!