A different but inspiring way of going through school

11914926_10153491271551638_157669319_nFor us IIB students it has been three intense weeks of making our selves at home here in New Paltz. I think we all can agree on that the town is very adapted to student life, which is great for us! There are a lot of Hawk-dollar restaurants all over the area and a lot of cafés and other shops that offer student discounts. Hawk-dollar is the payment card we use to buy food at restaurants and grocery stores. Well, even though I would like to write about all the nice restaurants where you can use Hawk-dollars (Main course!) around New Paltz, I’ve chosen another topic for this post. Instead I want to write about some of the differences I noticed in school here at SUNY New Paltz, compared to my University back home in Lund, Sweden.

Everything in school at SUNY New Paltz reminds me of every American high school or college movie11938941_10153491271866638_458676606_n I’ve ever seen all combined together. The dining hall, the many associations you can join, the American accent, the greetings “Hi, How u doing”, peoples friendliness etc. Pretty much everything and everyone here feels familiar but at the same time new and inspiring.

When it comes to manners, rules and regulations in the classroom it differs in many ways form what I’m used to, but I actually appreciate it. In Sweden, I don’t think we even have talk about manners in the classroom with our professors at our University. But here it’s different. My first thought when one of our professors at school here in New Paltz said that we weren’t allowed to use our computers or cell phones during class was: WHAT?!?!. But after attending three weeks of class with this Professor I actually admit that I like it. There are no distractions form a beeping phones or emails on our computers. It’s nice to get a break from the “Internet” once in a while. As a result, everyone, well at least the majority of the class, listens and interacts with the professors and other students.

The Professors at SUNY also give me an expression of that they feel responsible for our achievements and success. My Management Professor always begins class by asking us if we have any questions regarding class, school or life. The same professor knows every name of his 40 students. Do you think we feel appreciated and seen by him? Of course we do and it’s awesome! Therefor, a lot of our classmates also interact in discussions, because they feel safe to do so. I really feel that I the professors are here to help me.

The mentality here is that people help each other, which I think is a great. Most of the Professors are very friendly and helpful, in a personal way. This mentality motivates me and makes me feel very welcome. Keep up the good work professors at SUNY New Paltz!

 

 

IN THE HAWKS' KINGDOM

Our life in campus is crazy, literally crazy. Class, papers, books, assignments, dining hall, union building and, again, assignments, class, books and so on. At the end of a common day I feel as tired as I have run the New Paltz Marathon and my thoughts, usually, go in a unique direction: “my room sweet room”.

But last week, on Wednesday, an odd feeling took possession of me, and I decided to go to the Health Center to try to keep fit. In the Health Center, there are a lot of classes that we can do, two gyms, tennis courts and so on. Each team of the campus, known as The Hawks, here, have their training. I thought that muffins, cakes, potatoes, hamburgers had to be just a remembrance. Half an hour before the beginning of the hip hop cardio class, I enjoyed the queue to sign up, ready to dance, equipped with my hot pants and my just-refilled bottle of water. The room was very huge and along one side there was a big mirror, in which we would have seen if our performance was good. Alyssa, our teacher, was full of energy and she continued to smile. One, two, three and MUSIC. Thirty-nine girls and I were involved in an amazing sound. I was doing well, a part for some small, insignificant problems: I wasn’t good at dance. I wasn’t on music and every time that I had to turn right my body decided to go left. But I was super happy. For my gym-mates maybe this situation, this music, this class could have been normal, but for me everything was so special! For an Italian girl, taking a hip hop class, after her lesson, in a campus’ health center, surrounded by green and green, is something incredible. It was like being part of a Disney Channel serial for teenagers. I have loved seeing lot of students enjoying their free time between Zumba, hip hop and yoga classes, gym and swimming pool.

I finished my class tired but very satisfied as for this real American experience as to have kept fit. When I went out I saw our campus lit up and the sky was amazing: unbelievably nor light blue neither dark blue; a man was singing and playing guitar and some guys were skateboarding. I put my headphones and I came back home for having dinner and planning the yoga class for the next day. I remember I thought that I started to love this place and that I will miss it once left.

I was very tired at the end of the day, but I could say that I had a real “campus day”.

 

 

A way to survive Phil prediction

Groundhog Phil is forecasting six more weeks of winter.

As here in New Paltz winter seems to be a no laughing matter, we have to find a way to deal with it.

Fortunately we are getting familiar with the campus, learning how to move crossing buildings, in order to keep indoor most of the way.

Here are some picture from the maze of corridors and stairs, between the Business School and the Student Union Building.

Turning dreams into plans…

In a blink of an eye everything has become possible…. I’ve always wanted to have the experience of living in an American small college town and at last the time has come. People seem so nice, happy and it’s contagious! Local coffee shops, restaurants and pubs start taking place for laughter and emerging traditions. Super 8 starts feeling like home and the internationals like family. Being open to new cultures is the best thing you can ever do because you grow and learn so much from each other.

This is just the beggining of the perfect experience!

Sharing moments and stories through a cup of hot coffee @CAFEteria

The Campus Beauty!

Even though it’s extremely cold and I have to wear triple layers of clothing, it’s so beautiful here! With the mountains in the background, the blue sky and the bright sun this campus is really impressing. Here’s some photos from my first week at SUNY New Paltz.

It’s hard work (mostly)

The dedicated reader of this blog might think that we enjoyed wonderful eight weeks of leisure time at SUNY New Paltz. But we should put something right here: The IIB program is an academic program that is, although it’s a lot of fun, still hard work. To our excuse, posts and pictures of us sitting in the library is not the first thing we share on our blog. Therefore, this media gallery is about the one thing that remained concealed until now: Our HARD work. University life in the US is quite different to other countries. Here, you have to do many small group and individual assignments that sometimes reminds of middle school homework. Because there are so many of them, it requires time management and self-organization. Group work requires the ability to work in a team as wells as collaboration skills and finally the amount of work can be overwhelming sometimes, at least, if you want to see something else than the campus. This is very similar to the job life and thus prepares you well for it. I hope…

Train Insane or Remain the Same

Since you get pizza, burger and fries every day in the dining hall, I became the athletic center`s best customer. Fortunately, the athletic center of SUNY New Paltz offers a wide range of fitness equipment, dump-bells, tennis squares, group workouts and even a big swimming pool.

Last week I created my own training plan: 3 to 4 times training a week – pump, group workout and cardio. But I am not the only one having fun using the great sport offers. IIB students go to the gym together to meet their friends there, train hard and even try new sports. Coincidental, last week we had our own group workout.  Training and pursuing the same goals together is just much more fun!