Our first week in America so far has been amazing! The whole group is staying in a hotel called the Drury Inn for the entire three week duration of the program. The hotel is located nearby the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC) and has many different restaurants close-by on offer. For all the sports junkies out there the hotel has a gym, pool and a Jacuzzi. We are all looking forward to discovering the American culture!
On Sunday we went on a campus tour with two other students from UNCC. We all have been amazed by the size of the University and all the different facilities they have. The University has its own police station, doctors, about five different eateries and its own cinema.
On Monday it was our first day of classes. We have received our student ID cards which allow us to use different facilities on campus like the gym. We had our first lecture by Jim De Piante about leadership team building, communications and public speaking. The lecture was very fascinating and we have learnt so much. After the lecture we had team building activities which consisted of different games like dodge ball and jump rope. It helped us learn how we are working in teams and how to break the ice between one another.
On Tuesday, we all had to meet at the lobby at 8:30am and wait for our lift to campus. We had our first leadership class which was fascinating. The lecturer spoke about different leadership styles and a description of the course. After that we all went to a UNCC basketball game. We were so ecstatic and extremely excited to experience our first basketball game in the USA (especially me). I am not a sports fan but even I enjoyed the game. The atmosphere during the game was so much fun. The crowd was shouting the name of their team and dancing. During the break, the cheerleaders came and started cheerleading for their teams.
Then come Wednesday, we had our first executive dialogue in which two group members were chosen to research about the company and its employees. At 9am we had a meeting with two of the managers Mr. O'bday and Mr. Love from Monarch Mortgage, the bank which offers a wide range of loans. They told us how they started their careers and their what their roles in Monarch Mortgage are. Everyone was inspired and fascinated by them. After we finished our first executive dialogue we headed to a company called Red Ventures. Now it was my turn and my other group members to introduce the speaker which was the Vice President of Human Capital Hallie Kilmer. She took us on a tour around the company. The building is absolutely amazing with their own basketball court, bowling, medical centre and a bar. After our visit to Red Ventures, we all were wondering how we could get a USA job!
Thursday entailed a marketing class with American students. The purpose of this class was to give us the opportunity to learn about the culture of American students and their campus life. We were divided into groups of four American students and four Australian students. Our first task was to ask each other questions about our favourite movies, foods and travelling places. The students were very interested in our culture and asked us about Australian lifestyle and the wildlife. At 7pm in the evening the American students and our group went to a bowling game- but due to still experiencing jet-lag I decided to stay in the hotel to sleep.
Friday in the evening we all headed to have dinner in South End which is a neighbourhood south of Uptown Charlotte, North Carolina. It is also one of three Municipal Service Districts in Charlotte. There are lots of different restaurants and clubs in this area. We were twenty of us all together so we were hoping for a place that would be able to accommodate us all. After about half an hour's walk we found a nice funky restaurant. After about three hours of eating drinking and chatting some of us decided to go and experience the party life in Charlotte. We all needed to be aware that in the USA the legal drinking age is twenty one and if you below twenty one entry to some clubs is not allowed. Luckily for us we quickly found a night club which we could all go to. We had a super fun night which we will never forget!