A new year and a new semester at North Carolina State University, and I was both expectant and excited to see what this semester would bring. I made the difficult decision to move from the Wolf Village Apartments where I shared an apartment with three other American students, to Alexander Residence Hall which is a dormitory part of larger Global Village, housing a roughly fifty-fifty split of exchange students and local American students. Such a little change, but has given me a completely different experience of ‘college life’ in America.
Living in Alexander Hall has allowed me to get to know people from all around the world at a much closer proximity. The ‘hall-style’ dormitory makes it easy to go across the hall and hang out with friends, watch a movie in the basement, go to the dining halls together, go out partying together or plan trips away on the weekend. It has been such an eye-opening experience to have the chance to become close friends with people from all over the world including countries such as; Poland, France, England, Germany, Brazil, South Korea and of course America itself and be able to get to know more about their culture. With close to 200 diverse and interesting people living in the Alexander, there is truly never a dull moment and you can always count on something to be happening within the four walls of Alexander.
As Alexander Hall is part of the Global Village on campus, the hall also encourages events such as ‘Cups of Culture.’ This is a popular event for people to introduce to others their country’s culture and history and most importantly for everyone to indulge in delicious food specific to their own country. This year, the first Cups of Culture event was hosted by the Aussies. On Australia Day, all the Australians in the dorm, (which was about 12 of us) put on an Australia Day Event in the basement which involved; making Pavlova from scratch, a ‘guess the Australian slang meaning’ game and copious amounts of milo, Tim Tams, vegemite and fairy bread, all whilst blasting the Triple J’s top 100 countdown in the background. It was great to be able to share our nation’s biggest day with the non-Australians, many who had never even heard of such a day before.
A huge part of the ‘college experience’ is also going to the sport games and this semester instead of football, we have basketball games to look forward to. My very first basketball game was certainly one to remember. NC State versed Duke University in one of the biggest most memorable games of the season. After a neck-to-neck intense game, NC State defeated one of our biggest rivals; Duke, who was ranked no. 2 in the entire nation. It was such a spectacular win for NC State that after the final siren, everyone in the stadium stormed the court and congratulated the basketball team for the win.
Although this is my second semester at North Carolina State University, the change in accommodation and people, have made this experience an entirely different and interesting one for me and am extremely excited for the future and final four months here in the US!