Study Abroad @ PC: The International Gang


International students spending time at Tony’s

Cecelia Lobo, Staff Writer

It was only a few weeks ago that 52 international students landed at the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport of South Carolina with one common purpose: enjoying the most incredible experience studying here, at Presbyterian College.

All of us, people from France, Spain, South Korea, Finland, Germany and other countries from all over the world, have left our homes behind to embark ourselves on this adventure. Some of us will stay for a whole year, others, for just one semester. But the feeling of joy at being here is something most of us share.

Back at home, some say that we are brave, others, that we are lucky. And I don’t know about the first one, but I am pretty sure of one thing: we are lucky. We are fortunate to be here, to live this American experience firsthand -something that so many wish they could do- and to be able to share it with all the wonderful people we have met in the past few weeks, and of course the ones we will meet as days go by.

Studying abroad is considered to be a great opportunity not only because we learn new things and meet new people, which is what comes instinctively to the minds of those who haven’t experienced something similar, but also because we get to grow up and mature as individuals, to open our minds to the unknown and to know ourselves better than before.

To most of us, here at Presbyterian College, everything is different. And it’s taking us a while to get used to some things.

Something everyone seems to agree about is food. In each and every one of the countries where we come form, there’s a particular kind of food that makes it special. And obviously, as here we can find nothing like it, we all miss that part of our culture. Plus, and I don’t think this comes as a surprise to anyone, none of us believes Americans have a particularly healthy diet. But oh, well… We are getting over it as time goes by. After all, it’s worth it. And it’s not like all we have to say about being at PC is negative!

Sylvain (France, 21) talks about how welcomed he feels here and how much fun he is having. “I love the fact that we have access to the fitness center,” he says, “I have a hard time trying to understand people sometimes, though.” And who doesn’t? Southerners can have such a strong accent that it is almost impossible for us to know what they’re saying…

And yes, there are some challenges we have to face from time to time. Another one, as Sylvain also points out, is the fact that classes and exams are totally different here. Meanwhile, Erik (Norway, 21) also comments how difficult it is for him to adapt himself to the meal schedule, especially dinner, “Having dinner at 5!”

Other than the fact that it’s taking us a while to settle down, life is good for us. How wouldn’t it be , right? We’ll see what comes next…