TeMa Online

International blog Iris van der Meulen

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  • 4 minuten (752 woorden)

Dear fellow TeMa members,

I was asked to write something about my experiences abroad as I went to SUNY Geneseo, NY for my minor. I’ll first introduce myself shortly, I am Iris van der Meulen and I am in my third year of the bachelor Business Administration, Track Technology Management. Last year I was a member of the International Committee at TeMa.

A week ago I flew back to our small country after an amazing semester in Geneseo. Geneseo is a small city in the state New York, USA. Because Geneseo is so close to New York City, I decided to first visit D.C. (Washington) and New York City before starting my semester in Geneseo. This was an amazing start of my American adventure, Washington positively surprised me and I also really loved NYC. After 1,5 week it was finally time for me to fly to Rochester, which is a city near Geneseo and once I arrived there I was picked up by the international exchange office of SUNY Geneseo and they drove me to Campus.

All students, foreign and American, are required to live on campus during their first 2 years of their studies. So, I had to live on campus and share my room with another girl. Also, as I had chosen to live in suite style I had to share the common room and bathroom with 7 other girls. This sounds like hell for students from Groningen that are used to have their own room, but I actually really liked is as I was never alone and always had someone to talk to. All students that live on campus are required to get a ‘meal plan’. This is basically a debit card that you can use to pay for your meals. There were around 5 dining halls around campus and every day they served different dishes. There was also a Starbucks on campus where we could pay with our meal plans. 

The education system in Geneseo is really different from Groningen. Almost all classes are mandatory, and they don’t really distinguish between lectures and seminars. Also, since I was required to take 5 courses and each course had 2 classes of 1,5 hours a week I was super busy, something I wasn’t used to in Groningen. Geneseo also has a lot of midterms, quizzes, and papers. These deadlines have kept me quite busy during the semester as well. Luckily the academic level was lower, so it wasn’t that hard to keep up with everything and get good grades. Geneseo also gives credit for participation and as a foreign student, professors immediately like you so you are likely to get full credit for participation.

In Geneseo you can really feel the school spirit that an American University has and sometimes I felt as if I was walking through the set of Blue Mountain State. Geneseo does not have an American Football team. In Geneseo, Ice Hockey is the main sport and the guys that are on the team are really treated as gods which was quite funny to see. Also, many students are part of sport teams, clubs, sororities or fraternities. Every sorority or fraternity has its own villa with Greek letters attached to their roofs, and during the weekend they throw all kinds of parties. One thing I learned about Americans is that they can not drink. They only do shots and as a result at least one person gets transported to the hospital every weekend. Besides that, going to these parties is a lot of fun! Everyone drinks from red cups and there are big beer tanks from which you have to pump your own beer. Most parties already start at 9pm and end around 1 or 2am. This is actually really nice because then you are actually capable of doing something the day after.

Since Geneseo is so close to other big American cities and the Canadian border it is fairly easy to travel around. During my exchange I have been to Washington, New York City, Buffalo, Toronto, The Niagara Falls, and Montreal. It was nice to also be able to travel to Canada and explore some Canadian cities. I’ve only been back in the Netherlands for 2 days, but I already miss Geneseo and its people. Americans are really nice, and they really made me feel welcomed and home. I hope I gave you a good expression of what it is like to study in Geneseo.



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