Alyce is currently studying at Gannon University and shares with us her first few uni experiences.
I’ve been at Gannon for four weeks now and so far so good! During my first week on campus it was very quiet as it was only the international students who were required for a special orientation week. As soon as the domestic students arrived, the campus was in full swing. We had four days of freshman orientation which included heaps of different activities. One of the highlights was all of the free food we got! After a week of trying to organise our own meals it was amazing that every different place, activity or building we went in to, we got some kind of food. Sometimes it would be a whole meal but most of the time we got various sweets – which for a sweet tooth was fantastic! Another highlight was a ceremony that I attended called Convocation which was just a formal welcoming for the freshman students. This was a highlight for me because it felt so stereotypical American like something you would see in the movies. The ceremony included speeches by numerous campus officials, all of which tried their hardest to be motivational and inspirational. The ceremony was held in the gym and all the students sat on the basketball court and then family and friends sat in the stands – it made it feel really special.
Move in day was absolute madness! Each person bought so much stuff with them that I was very interested to see where they were going to fit it all in our small rooms. First of all, I am living on the 3rd floor of my hall that has no elevator so it was funny watching everyone carrying carloads of things up three flights of stairs! I moved in a week before everyone else and at that point I thought I bought a decent amount of stuff with me… I was wrong. The domestic students had thought of absolutely everything to bring while I’m still using a plastic cup as my cereal bowl.
One thing that I have noticed about Gannon that is different from ACU is the way classes are run. I have been told that it is because Gannon is a small school but lectures are held in a regular classroom and the setting is more like high school. The lectures use the white board a fair bit and also call on certain people to answer questions and small things like that makes it feel like high school. The tutorial classes however are very similar to what I would have at home. Lastly, I have to call all of my lecturers Dr, which is very strange because at home we just call them by their first names.
My time in the US has been so incredible so far and I do not regret anything at all! Based on my experiences so far I would highly recommend everyone take a semester abroad.