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Study in the USA Blog

My Experience Thus Far…

Posted on August 27th, 2008 by Laura Herrejón

The past few weeks have been a rollercoaster of experiences. First of all, I said goodbye to my friends and to my hometown in Mexico, and I had to face the adventure of discovering this whole new atmosphere of my life. Last Monday I arrived at Valparaiso, Indiana. I have to say that I absolutely love it here, people are nicer than anywhere else I have been in the United States, and the school seems to have a “top-notch” education. The hard part about this experience was saying goodbye to family when they left me here in Valparaiso, and said hello to growing up as an independent human being. Being on my own is definitely one of the most rewarding and wonderful moments of my life. I am living my life as happy as I can, and even though experiencing a new start can be frightful, the hard part is to face it, and everything else will fit into place on its own time.

After arriving at Valparaiso, I started to move in my stuff in the dorms, and of course I was one of the first people there because classes were still a week away and international students had the benefit of being able to move in a couple of days before everybody else. The room was smaller than I pictured, my bed was a sofa at the same time, and we had NO AIR CONDITIONING! I immediately bought a fan and all of the things I needed for me to be able to live on my own. For example, I bought notebooks, 2 posters to decorate my room, a pillow, a lamp, a trash can, a safe, a plastic storage bin to put my clothes, hangers, dishes, soap, laundry bag, laundry soap, towels, a shower tote, a rug, school supplies, and the most important thing…. FOOD! I was all set after a long night of trying to get me moved in, and I was ready to go rest and enjoy the last couple of days with my parents. Finally, after a couple of days of running back and forth, I finally finished to get me settled because I also had to change my car plates to new plates of the new state where I am living at. Things can get done, but try to organize them before you arrive in the USA so things can flow more smoothly and you can actually enjoy the ride.

Later on, the weekend before classes I got to go to the international orientation and I got to meet people from all over the world. There were international students from Germany, England, Turkey, France, China, Korea, Africa, Ukraine, Ecuador, India, Poland, Saudi-Arabia, and many many other places. It was great to actually attend this orientation, because from there I found many people that became are now my friends, and actually one of them is from Ecuador, and she has become a very close friend.

I was feeling nervous about meting more people and registering for classes, and then I met my roommate. My roommate is great, and we have more things in common than I can even mention. We get along great, and along with my friend from Ecuador and another girl from our floor, we have become a group of 4 very good friends. The girl from Ecuador and me are Latinas, and the other two girls are from the US, we get along great, and it happens that we are all in the business field.

Trying to meet new people and keeping an open mind in getting to know other cultures can help us to develop and become more mature people. I would not trade this experience for anything, and I can definitely say that this is one of the best moments of my life. Or like there is a phrase that says: “Carpe Diem” which is in Latin for SEIZE THE DAY….Take advantage of everything!

5 Responses to “My Experience Thus Far…”

  1. Jake Says:

    It’s great to hear you are adjusting quickly. I think this is one of the things that a lot of students fear most. I think living independently should be a great time that allows you to think on your own about how you want to live your life. You can be sure your friends and family at home are rooting for you!

    Also one of my favorite things about studying in another country is how you get to be part of a community that opens doors for you to meet people from all over the world. All of a sudden you have people to visit from what seems like every country in the world or close to it.

    Of course you live by “Carpe Diem”! Seems like all the Latin people I know live by the phrase – good outlook I think! Can’t wait to read more.


  2. Laura Herrejón Says:

    Hey Jake:

    It makes me happy that you are reading my blog. I am learning so much from this experience, but of course you know because you have been to Vienna as an international student. I actually had the chance of going to Austria this summer, and it was so beautiful, and different.

    I have to say that you are completely right about by living independently and how it forms you to find the way in life, and what you want to do throughout it.

    And Carpe Diem! Well yes I have to say that most Latin people just like me live by it… I think it’s a good philosophy if life… what about you?


  3. Lynn Brooks Says:

    very interesting. Are there European students planning to come to USA
    specifically Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge, Tennessee this year?
    if so, email me.

  4. Bill Bartmann Says:

    Cool site, love the info.

  5. Morgan Genzale Says:

    hi im glad to know your trip went well. I just have one question for you, how did you become an internation student, would you talk to a counsouler at your school, or is there any good websites ?

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