The US Experience

Erasmus+ Global exchange studies in North Carolina

Last thoughts from the US

3 days and it will be over. This has been such a great experience all around. I am getting excited about going back to Finland but at the same time I realize that I will miss this place so much. The everyday life here at the campus is so different that it is in Finland. Here you get used to your friends in a different way, because you are always doing something with a group of people. I live in a building that has only students and I eat with them, I spent a lot time with them, for me that works really well. That makes me a bit nervous going back home. With living almost 15km from Jyväskylä, it will be so quiet after this place. But when the next semester kicks in, I think it will be fine. Of course, during the holidays I will be able to catch up with my Family and friends.

When I was planning the exchange period, my plan was to interact more with the American students and I was not that excited about the other exchange students. The firsts weeks I spent mostly with the American students but after that I ended up spending most of my time with other exchange students. Even though, we did lots of stuff with Americans, so I had nice experience of both.

My opinions about Europe and the world have changed a lot because of this experience. I made good friends around the Europe, North and South America. They provided me with new opinions and views about the politics and cultures around the world.

The last few months this blog has not been granted with that much of attention, that is because I have been busy studying and traveling here. Almost all my courses are done by now, last final will be tomorrow. There is a difference in the ending of the semester here and in Finland. In Finland the rush is usually in the end of the semester with all big deadlines there. At least for me here, most of my deadlines were spread evenly for the whole semester and even the bigger project deadlines were earlier. This means that you will actually have time to study for the finals.

I had also time to travel during the last weeks. I went to Vegas, Savannah, Charleston and Washington. It was awesome. I really recommend renting a car here and drive instead of flying. Obviously, I did not drive to Vegas, but we drove a lot on the east coast.

Few days, flight to NYC and from there to Finland.

 

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Made it through the hurricane

Hey Y’all!

It has sure has been busy few weeks here in Raleigh. The studies began really fast and all the other activities among studying has been taking my time, so no blog posts.

The courses are so different here. At first, I was really struggling with all the work related to the classes. Now a month into semester, I have gotten used to it and it is not that bad anymore. We had few tests already and I did well on those, so I should be on the right track.

I have never been in a hurricane and the fact that Florence was heading straight to Raleigh was a bit frightening. The University stated that it would stop operations from Wednesday to Sunday. Given a vacation, many exchange students left Raleigh to travel west. I was also thinking about going but we got warned that If we decide to go, we must back in classes on Monday, and the flood waters are probably going to make it hard to come back. In the end we decided to stay here, most of the American students did not plan to leave Raleigh.

We were told to get supplies for 3 days, if we loose electricity (which was likely to happen), and basics like flashlight, first aid kit, etc. We ended up hoarding water and other supplies from grocery stores nearby. It was actually pretty exciting to wait for the hurricane, being that I live at high ground and in a concrete building and when it got closer it went more to south. Of course, it is a huge disaster for people living at the coast and in South Carolina and I hope they are all ok there.

In the end the hurricane did not catch Raleigh with that much of force. We had rain for few days and some wind on Friday, but that was basically it here. No trees going down, we had electricity the whole time, no floods at campus area. I think there was some flooding and a transformer blowing up here in Raleigh.

A month into the semester and I have found a lot of new friends. Many of them are also exchange students but a fair number of natives too. It is fun to explore the North Carolina’s traditions in study culture and otherwisea. You get such a nice view of different countries and places with the diversity here.

I try to add some pictures to the post, but I think my blog is already at max capacity so let’s see.

NC State Football game

Stores ran out of water and other supplies before the storm.

This is almost the worst it was here at campus after the hurricane.

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Arriving to Raleigh

So, I got no clue how to start a blog post, but here it goes.

My journey to Raleigh began with a layover in Oslo for 12 hours. We had great time there with my girlfriend who is also going to study abroad. Below there are pictures from our time there. After the day in Oslo, our trip continued to the New York City where we stayed for 4 days.

New York treated us well, even though it was raining for the most of our stay. It was so warm and humid there in NYC.

After our mini-holiday, we were separated. She flew to San Jose and I flew to Raleigh. I had some problems at the Newark Intl. Airport with my flights though. My first flight got canceled and then I got seated in evening flight and ended up waiting at Newark for 8 hours for the plane. Eventually, when I got to Raleigh it was 3 am.

I thought that I was among the first to move in, and did not realize that my roommate had moved in already. He had a funny face when i stumbled in at 3am. We had a chat and I got to sleep around 4 am. Next day the orientation began at 8.30 and lasted for almost the whole day. That was sort of a rough day for me with not much sleep.

Now few days in, couple of trips to target done, NC State feels like a great place. It is super warm and humid here. I thought that there would be more orientation for us, but that was not the case. We had only 2 days of orientation and now a free weekend to wonder off and do whatever we want.

Here are some pictures that I’ve taken so far:

From Oslo

New York lower manhattan

MoMa

From the subway

Just tall buildings in this picture

Anthony Bourdain’s restaurant

Bryant Park

New York Stock Exchange

This was my bed in Raleigh for first night. Now I have a pillow and a blanket.

Talley student union

Fountain Dining Hall

Free express tunnel

Let’s see how this one ends up.

There you go.

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