It is hard to believe that I’ve been at UMaine for two months already. What did I do; where did the time go?
Before trying to recount what was going on in my life since my last post, I thought I’d recapitulate the last two months. First thing that everyone is wondering about: how do I like it here and how am I doing? I still love it at UMaine and in Maine in general. I cannot even begin to describe how lucky I feel to be here and simply to have the opportunity to live in the States for a year.
I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts that there are also things that I am not too happy about. The one thing that hasn’t changed is that I am not a fan of American food. But thanks to my kitchen and my cooking skills, I’ve still managed quite well so far and I prefer looking at the bright side of things. So I’ve more or less accepted American food culture (even though I still like to complain about it from time to time).
One of the things about UMaine that I really appreciate is the library, aka the place where I’m writing this blog post right now. Unlike the library in Salzburg, Fogler Library is open every day and, except for Friday and Saturday, it is open until midnight every day as well. Since I live in a dorm where it is rather hard for me to study, I usually study, read, and do my homework in the library. And unlike the library in Salzburg, you’re allowed to bring all of your stuff, meaning your laptop and something to drink (and illegally also to eat). So it happens quite often that I end up spending at least half my day in the library. I get a lot done here and there’s a cafeteria in the building which comes in handy when I need to recharge my batteries.
Another aspect about UMaine that I really appreciate, especially because it is so contrary to the university at home, is that the university (or certain university organizations) organizes trips all the time. So far I’ve been on a two-day kayak trip, a day trip to Camden on the coast, and a three-day trip to Canada’s Capital, Ottawa. Those trips are usually very well organized, heavily funded (and thus quite cheap), and always a good way to get away from campus.
The last point that I’d like to mention today is that the reason why I feel so much at home here is largely due to the group of international students that are here. We were kind of “forced” to hang out from the beginning because of orientation for international students. However, we ended up being a fun group that loves to do stuff together (like going to Canada). The group is very diverse, consisting of students from Germany, France, England, Ireland, Belgium, Canada, Australia, and some Americans that could actually pass for international students. I always avoid using too many clichés (I actually just read some homework about that) but sometimes clichés are true. So to come to an end with this blog, I’ll post a couple of pictures because a picture can sometimes say more than 554 words of a blog post.