I hope everybody had an amazing welcome week and isn’t too exhausted from the first week of lectures. I on the other hand, have already had 6 weeks of lectures at Kenan-Flagler Business School here in the United States.
I arrived on August 18th and lectures started 2 days later. My arrival, however, wasn’t exactly as I had planned: I arrived safely at Raleigh-Durham airport; my suitcase didn’t. So there I was standing at the baggage claim, thinking that this is probably the worst possible moment to lose one’s suitcase. Another exchange student from Germany was coincidentally on the same flight from Hamburg to Raleigh-Durham and his suitcase didn’t arrive from New York either, where we had a 2.5 hour layover. Luckily I had packed some essentials in my carry one luggage and the airline delivered my suitcase to my hall the next morning.
I am living in a hall on campus and I’m sharing a room with a Chinese girl who’s also an exchange student at the Business School. The hall only has one fully equipped kitchen in the whole building as most students here have meal plans so hall life here is definitely a change from my life in Manchester.
UNC is a campus university so most places are conveniently located and I live only 5 minutes from the Business School and 15 minutes from the gym.
Teaching in the US is very different to England. The classes are small, group work is part of most classes and you are assessed on a constant basis. For my Strategic Management class for example, I have to hand in an assignment for each class which is worth 2 % each of my final mark. I have changed some classes so that I’m now taking Global Business, Mergers & Acquisitions, Strategic Management and Financial Accounting & Analysis.
In my second week at UNC I have decided to join the Handball club, which has so far been a really good decision. Handball is a fairly unknown sport in the US and many players on the team have only started playing at college so they were really excited when I told them that I had actually played Handball for a few years when I was younger. We practice 3 times a week and it’s definitely a good way to meet local students. We don’t have regular games throughout the season but we take part in different tournaments along the East Coast throughout the year.
My first University Football game was definitely a typical American experience. Another exchange student from Denmark had invited me and two other German exchange students, who study in Denmark, to go tailgating before the game. This tradition is all about eating lots of food and getting your spirit up for the game. I have to admit though that I still do not understand the rules of this game!
Every few weeks I meet up with the girl from Denmark, the two German exchange students and an exchange student from Hong Kong to cook together or simply go out for a few drinks.
Because cooking in my hall has proven to be rather difficult I eat out most of the time and my roommate and I have bought a fridge as well. So getting together with other exchange students to prepare a home cooked meal is always a welcome change!
More about my experience abroad and my language problems in the USA (Hoover? – What’s this girl talking about?) in October!