Monday, March 23, 2009

One more semester, why not?

Three weeks ago I was thinking about what topic could I discuss on this blog post. But there was something on my mind that did not allow me concentrate. That was because I could not stop thinking about if staying here one more semester. Then was when I knew what to talk about.

When I arrived to OU, I had heard about the good things on this University, but right now, I have checked that they are true. On the other hand, I have other reasons that incite me to return to my country, Spain.

For this reason I decided to make a survey to the exchanges students whom I meet on OU. They were going to help me to decide if I stay here or if I came back home. I just needed reasons.

Asking just Spanish people like me it was not really the best thing to do. I should asking to exchange students from other countries with the aim of have as more opinions as better.

When I did my survey, the most important thing that people valued was the American Style of Life. “Before I come here, I just thought about the American stereotypes. When you are used to them, you discover that there are a lot of things in US that you didn't know which are amazing” says Marc Bailly, French exchange student. Marc is 21 years old and he is really enjoying his life in the US.


Exchange students love their life here in Norman, maybe because it is very diff

erent than their countries, or maybe because it is really good. Most students say that they like the mix between different and good things.

But if we focus on the University, people say that also they like the way to learn here in OU. “In Italy, and I think the rest of Europe, the way to learn is very different. Here in the US I have to do more papers and quizzes than in my country. Even so, I think that I am learning a lot and that is better for me” says Davide Silvestri, Italian exchange student.

Nowadays, getting experience and speaking a great English is decisive to find a job once you have finished your major. Exchange Program here in OU gives you both, experience and language.

People who really appreciate this program want to extend their stay on OU. They think that one more semester is perfect to improve their English at all and knowing the US better.

The language could be a handicap when an exchange student comes from other country which English is not the official language. That is why these students prefer to make

friendships from a lot of countries to improve their English.

Friendships. That is the most important thing that exchange students appreciate. “When I arrived here I met anybody. But I just needed one week to make a lot of friends, it was awesome” says Nicolas Munita. He is an exchange student from Chile and he is studying Petroleum Engineering.

These friendships allow the students knowing new people, cultures and points of view. That makes the student to have an open mind.

OU has a great number of associations with the objective of enhancing and improving these relationships. All the exchange students that I meet, they are enrolledin one or two of these associations.

Panam Association members

These kind of student associations plan a lot of different activities every week for their members. The activities range from parties at a nightclub or bowling or even paintball or freefood.

Freefood! It's a magical word for all the exchange students. They say that in US is the first time they see something like that. In Europe or South America freefood doesn't exist.

Christians on Campus' Freefood

This kind of food id not usually healthy, but is a good way to save money. Moreover, freefoods are organized by associations where students can meet new and interesting people.

Sport at Oklahoma University. Every exchange student enjoy it. Students say that the University Football League at Fall Semester was amazing. “I will never forget how I felt at the OU Stadium when we scor

ed and everybody shouted. There was when I felt like a real Sooner” says Genki Konagata, Japanese exchange student.

Students who are not from US specially like the pride that people feel for their college. Also is amazing how much sports you can play here in OU.

If you can play a lot of sports is because the weather allows you do it. On one hand, the weather can not be good -snow, tornadoes, cold... But on the other hand, the weather in Norman is usually nice and sunny.

Exchange students will prefer to extend his scholarship at OU because the climate allows organize many outdoor activities. Wikipedia says that Oklahoma is the area with more tornadoes per year in the world, however I think that it is not a bar to have fun.

Exchange students also really like Oklahoman people. That is because this people is nice and very understanding with foreign students.

“At the beginning of my stay here in Norman, was to difficult to me speaking English, but people were patient with me. They always helped me in everything I needed” says Alejandro Argilaga, Spanish exchange student.

The US are not just Norman. That is why exchange students love traveling and knowing the country when

they have the chance. The road trips to anywhere are the favorite trips for these students.

In short, exchange students have a lot of reasons to stay here one more semester. After I have listened their opinions, I think that just five or six months are not enough to enjoy OU. The OU International Students Service told me that over 70% of the exchange students extend their scholarship at OU.

Definitively, I will extend my scholarship here in OU. That many people cant be wrong.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Unforgettable PANAM NITE

Spanish girls with the Show's MC.(Picture by: Jaime O.)

Friday night, March 6th, more than three hundred people enjoyed the PANAM (Pan-American Students Association) Nite. It was celebrated at Ball Room (OMU) from 6 PM to 9 PM.

Have you ever imagine to spend a night sharing your own culture with others from Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Chile, Ecuador, or Spain? It was possible last Friday. People knew this event was going to be awsome and one didn't want to miss it. Each one of the countries named before did its own performance, from dances to a Spanish Quizz interacting with the public. ALEGRIA (HAPPINESS) was the main theme of the night. All the performances were colorful and full of rhythm. After the show, the assistants enjoyed a delicious dinner and later they went to the Club 101.

“It has been great!The Venezuelan performance was amazing. I would like to dance like them.” says Kayla Duff. “Spanish people, we have worked hard to offer a good impression of Spain to our public and they enjoy the show” says Alejandro Argilaga, Spanish performer.

It was the 35th PANAM Cultural Night, and year after year this event is improved with the purpose of showing to the whole OU all the cultures that coexist inside this association.

Put a squirrel in your life

We are used to see everyday a lot of squirrels on Campus, however have we asked our-selves why are they here, or who take care of them?

Sciurus niger, that is the name with which OU biological survey has named at the Eastern Fox Squirrel. Even if we would to know the exact number of squirrels on Campus, we couldn't do it. A lot of these little animals are everyday running by the grass or climbing the trees, doing like if we -the humans- don't exist. However it isn't completely true. Many people on Campus are OU squirrel lovers, and they are responsible for feed and take care of them. Since 2004, some organizations have been founded with the goal to protect the OU squirrels. Although there are also students they don't like these animals.

“I like to walk by the Campus and watch how the squirrels climb the trees or eat acorns in the grass while people go past beside them” says Courtney Herubin, a Psychology freshman. “It's interesting this friendly relationship between humans and squirrels on this University, I like it” says José Ahumada, a Psychology senior.

The love for these brush-tailed campus critters has done that much Facebook Groups about OU squirrels have been created. Nowadays you can add the group “OU squirrels fascinate me”, “Genocide of the Squirrels at OSU and OU”, or “I touched an OU Squirrel, and I liked it”.

Pictures by: Jaime O.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Colombian Night. Rhythm Night.

Yesterday night, Saturday February 28th, all OU was painted of yellow, blue and red. That's why it was the Colombian Night. COLSA (Colombian Students Association) organized an event from 5 pm to 9 pm at Union.

Over two hundred people was yesterday night in Union dancing and singing at the Colombian Night. This association organized an event with live performances, presentations, dinner, and finally a concert of the Colombian Group Bonka. There were four hours full of rhythm, emotions, fun and music. People was saying they specially loved the concert. This event were not just for people from Colombia or Latin America, people from

US, France, Spain, Itali and more countries enjoyed this party.

“It has been a long time that I had not danced like tonight!It was amazing!” says Sebastien Grace, one of the assistans. “We are vey glad that people is having fun. We have organized this night with a lot of hope” says Andrés Vargas (COLSA President).

Every year COLSA organizes this event, but people say it's go to be hard to beat this night.

Picture by: Jaime O.

Healthy food on Campus. Do you choose what do you want?

Picture by: Jaime O.

If you count at the end of the week how many meals have you take on Campus restaurants, probably, you will be surpresed. A research made by a students group proves that people eat an average of three meals per week.

The problem is not the number of meals, but their quality and heath. Inside the Campus there are not a lot of different kinds of food to eat. All the restaurants serve fast food not healthy enought. I mean that we can't choose what we want to eat. Obviously, you can choose between pizza, hamburger, chicken, or sandwich; but we should addmit that deep down all is the same thing. I am from Spain, and on my university, you can eat pizza or hamburger if you want, but you also can order for a daily menu, with different meals, healthier and -I am sure- tastier. I think that Housing & Food should listen to the students and work for they can choose.

“I have to eat everyday on Campus because of my schedule and because I live so far from here. I know that this kind of food is not very healthy, but it's cheaper”, says Elisa Burton, an electrical engineering senior.

I know that we are students and we have not got a lot of time to spend cooking for our-selves, but in the research about healthy food on Campus, people said that they don't mind to spend much money if the food is healthier.