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.

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