And at the drop of a hat, or should I say the flip of a graduation cap, our three week American College experience was all over. In 21 days, we completed one whole subject, celebrated the 4th of July at a traditional American baseball game, saw Niagara Falls during a weekend away in Canada, explored the streets of Chicago, ate ‘elephant ears’ at a County Fair, ice-skated in the infamous Spartan hockey stadium and last but not least, made amazing life-long friendships.
It was all surreal when we first entered our dormitories to think this was our home for the upcoming weeks. We met our ambassadors and stewards who were our guides for our time at Michigan State. They took us around campus and showed us where the main facilities were. For example, they showed us the Broad Art Museum which was featured in the Batman vs. Superman movie before we headed to lunch in a cafeteria which really was just like you see in American movies! The most notable thing about this University was the ‘unmissable’ school morale and pride. Students, aka ‘Spartans’ are seen all over campus, even off campus wearing an abundance of Michigan State University or Spartan merchandise. Our ambassadors showed us this chant where you yell ‘Go Green’ and almost always someone will respond ‘Go white!”
My favourite part about undertaking this program was the fact we got to study, but travel and see some amazing places all at the same time! In our first weekend at MSU we left on Friday to go to Canada for the weekend! We stayed in Ontario for two nights with the chance to explore Niagara Falls and its beautiful surrounds. The following weekend we headed to Illinois for two nights in Chicago! We got to go the Lincoln Park Zoo, Navy Pier and even see the ‘bean’, more commonly known as cloud gate in Millennium Park.
Class was held for 3 hours a day and was similar to University back home, except having class mates from around the world which was amazing to see the changing values and outlooks of others about teaching. We were lucky enough to have had two field trips, multiple guest speakers and the opportunity to individually engage with an ESL class! In the end, the classes weren’t the most difficult part of the program. The hardest part of this whole experience was saying goodbye to all the new friends we just spent each day with. Even though our graduation and the program is over, the memories and friends I have made will stick with me forever.