The birthday girl!

Hello folks!

It seems like yesterday that I landed in New York, full of hopes and excited to start this new and breathtaking experience…. But time goes by and it goes so fast.

The first month in New Paltz is over and just another one left to go… Then we’ll move to the “City”, where every dream can come true, no matter how big it is!

Many things have happened these past 30 days and among the craziness of a brand new life I had the chance to meet fascinating and surprising people and spend some valuable time with them.

Less than a week ago, it was my 25th Birthday and I decided to celebrate it in class, simply by eating a piece of cake with my international mates and asking everybody to wear some beautiful “Happy Birthday” crowns as a reminder of this busy but still important day! That seemed enough for me, though.

So, after a long day spent attending my courses at the University, I headed back home by walking. After a few steps, I started feeling overwhelmed by the circumstances… I was so tired, had no chance to hear from my parents and friends in Italy the all day, and missed home so badly.

I was deep in my thoughts when I arrived at the motel and approached to enter my room… It was closed from the inside… :-/

I imagined that my roomie was in there, maybe sleeping and didn’t want to be bothered…. But then, someone came to open the door and…


My crazy, fabulous, sweet like sugar and affectionate Italian girls had prepared an amazing intimate party in my honor.
My room was dark and lighted just by tens of candles strewn all over the place…. Chocolate cupcakes on my desk… Random pictures of my life posted above my bed on the wall… and beautiful, stunning roses sent from Italy by my boyfriend!

I was the birthday girl.

And I felt home again.

Thank you all for making my birthday so memorable!

Hugs and Kisses.

One school, hundreds of opportunities

Raise your hand if you have ever seen an American college movie?

Okay, great, thank you!

Now, raise your hand if you have ever wanted to be a part of a college movie?

Pheuw, for a second there I thought I would be the only one reading this blog who have watched American movies and who would like to be in one, but fortunately I’m not.


Photographer: Agnes Nilsson

For me, this very autumn, my dream came true! Well at least almost, I’m not a part of a college movie but I’m a part of an American college and I can’t stop being impressed by all the opportunities American colleges provides.

New Paltz Universitys campus looks exactly like I hoped it would look like, a typical “college-movie-campus”. All buildings are gathered in one area, the dining hall is huge and there are several cafeterias where you can imagine people dancing on tables, as they do in High School Musical. There are big lecture halls, a library that offers more than you can imagine and a Wellness Center that provides the students opportunities to practice more than 10 different sports. I keep asking my self, are all campuses like this? Do regular campuses give their students all these opportunities? After doing some research, I have found my answer: YES. Of course there will always be exceptions, but if you end up at a college in America, you will most likely end up at one similar to New Paltz University.

“Okay” you might think “She have now claimed that there are a lot of opportunities and that all universities are the same. What will she say next?” Well, I thought I would guide you a little bit around college, so you (as a soon-to-be IIB student) would know how to make the most out of your experience.

Get to know someone


If you come by your self to this new country, it might feel a little hard to start talking to someone you don’t know, but don’t you worry. New Paltz University has thousands of students and everyone I’ve talked to are frie
ndly. The majority is very interested in other people too, as long as you also show interest in them.

I arrived here with some Swedish friends and we ended up in the same marketing class. One day, we decided to split up during class just to get to know others, and immediately someone started talking to me and I have now made a friend who loves sneakers even more than I do. I have a saying that I used to tell a shy friend of mine that I thought I would share with you “No one knows if you are not outgoing or shy, as long as you decide not to show them” so put your social shoes on and get ready to mingle! (and remember, if something goes terribly wrong, you don’t have to see them if you don’t want to.)


Be a part of an association


Campus does not only provide you with thousands of interesting people, it does also give you an opportunity to spend time with people who have the same interest as you. New Paltz University have 169 (!!!!!) different associations touching subjects regarding everything from Quiditch to Handball, form Soccer to Human Vs. Zombies. They regard all the interest you might ever had and MORE.
Hobbys are a big thing in America and almost everyone I’ve talked to are either a part of an association or a part of a sorority or fraternity. So if you would like to get to know people in an environment where you know you feel comfortable and get to know people who admire the same things as you do, join an association! Why not email them before you come here and tell them a little bit about you? I promise they will appreciate it. I emailed on of the schools dance teams and now I get to dance with amazingly talented girls four times a week! Click Here if you would like to learn more about the associations.


Use the Wellness centre

The wellness centre at New Paltz University is, like everything else on campus, huge. They have 16 tennis courts, one swimming pool, two running tracks (one indoor and one outdoor), two gyms, one room for dancing and one for yoga and a big hall for basketball, handball, soccer etc. They do also have a field where the students can play lacross, baseball and rugby. If you don’t feel like joining a team since you will only be here for two months, use the opportunities provided anyway. Go to the swimming pool, do some exercise at the gym or join the different classes they provide such as Boot Camp, Hip Hop, Zumba and Yoga. You will have great fun and meet other students or get a possibility to get to know your IIB fellow students even more!

New Paltz University also provide the students with outdoor activities such as tubing, zip lining and canoeing which you have to pay and register for in advance. NOTE though, you have to be quick when the open for registration, the tubing and zip lining got sold out in less than 30 minutes! So discuss with your IIB-fellows which ones you would like to attend and then stay glued to your computer during the registration hours.

 Join the school spirit

One last thing that I have noticed about campus that we don’t have in the same utsträckning in Sweden but is a fun thing to be a part of is the school spirit. Every day I see at least 50 people walking around in clothes bought form school; New Paltz University t-shirts, Sweat-shirts or track pants. People with water bottles (me!), notebooks, pens and folders with the University name on it. Everyone feel so strong about this university and by doing so myself, I feel like a greater part of this fellowship. If you don’t want to wait until your first one-on-one with Jeff or Martha (where they give you a water bottle with the New Paltz logo) you can got to the shop and buy your New Paltz items straight away!

First interview – done!

Today I went to my first interview for our internship this spring. I woke up early in NYC, got dressed and walked over to Union Square. The sun was shining and once again I fell in love with this city. After spending a few weeks in New Paltz I started to enjoy the small town life more than the city life but no, now I’m hooked again.

My interview was at a company called Wikia. Wikia is founded by the same person who started Wikipedia: Jimmy Wales, who is also a friend of mine. I met with the New York sales director and the Vice President at 10 a.m and it was so much fun. I just love going to interviews.

Everything went very well and we will see if this is the company that I will work for during the spring.

Let’s do this!

The historical background

I’ m sure all of you are wondering what the name “New Paltz” means.

Well, I found that New Paltz has a good historical background, as it was founded in 1678 from a group of French Huguenots.

The Huguenots had to leave France during religious persecution; they first moved to Mannheim in the German Palatinate, and then crossed the ocean and finally settled near the Wallkill river shore, in the Dutch colony of New Netherland.

In Mannheim’s dialect Palatinate (Pfaltz) is pronounced Paltz, so, thankful for the hospitality they got, the Huguenots wanted to name the place New Paltz.

Nowadays is still possible to see most of the original settlement in what is called “Huguenot Street Historic District”.

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.

The study abroad experience!

One of the best things with studying abroad is that it offers a chance to make new friends from all over the world and to create a professional network! We are 18 students from Mexico, Italy and Sweden participating in the IIB Program. Even though we have been here only for three weeks, we have already become like a family. We are also taking courses with students from the U.S., China, Brazil, and Turkey. This mix gives different points of view when having discussions during the lectures.

The study abroad experience also gives a new perspective on the world and a better understanding of different cultures. I believe it is very important in today’s global society to posses the skill to communicate across cultures and to be open-minded. Since my goal is to work in an international company, I feel very motivated to study in this international context and of course I’m very excited for my internship in NYC!

Before I came to New Paltz, I studied abroad in Worcester, Seoul and London but I never shared a room with anyone. Here in New Paltz, we share room with another IIB student from a different country. My roommate Patrizia comes from Italy and she is really great! She is always positive, fun and a very talented student.

I am very pleased to get this study abroad experience, to make friends from all over the world and to build a global network!