International Students Hit the Road for Fall Break


Cecelia Lobo, Staff Writer

The United States is a huge country; we are all aware of that. Last Fall Break, most of our international students here at PC decided to leave the state of South Carolina and go live adventures far away from here. They wanted to know more about this country. There were more than 50 travelers—more than 5 destinations. Heading both North and South along the East Coast, but also traveling further into the West, they visited remarkable places such as New York, Boston, Miami, Orlando, Washington DC and Chicago. Let’s see a little bit of what some of them discovered on their adventures…

New York City. Who hasn’t heard of the Big Apple? The city of lights, the city of dreams: or at least so they say. Many people from all over the world go to New York to pursue their dreams or to reinvent themselves, willing to get haunted by life in a big city. Daye (South Korea) spent a whole day wandering its streets, and she said that what she enjoyed most was the city at night. “It’s amazing,” she confirms, “and the Empire State Building was my favorite thing.” No surprise there. However, she also told us a few things about New York City that most people don’t really talk about when describing such a metropolis. She didn’t seem too enthusiastic about certain things. After all, she didn’t spend much time in the city. But still, she got to say: “People weren’t very nice. Also, the streets are dirty and the traffic is really annoying.” We should bear in mind that everything has its pros and its cons. A city full of contrasts like New York is not an exception.

Miami. Some call it “Magic City.” Miami Beach, that place where all that matters is the appearance, the superficiality of it all. At least that is what Edu (Spain) has noticed during his stay there. “You can see luxurious cars all around,” he says, his eyes widening at the simple memory of it. “And there aren’t cultural activities to do. Everything is oriented towards partying, drinking and having fun.” There you go; now we know why people call it “Magic City.” If you haven’t quite grasped it, just think a little more. People go to Miami to have fun, there’s no doubt of that. But it has also a little bit of history that has now led to a curious mixture of cultures. “There are lots of Latinos,” Edu tells us. “Everyone speaks Spanish there, and Latin music is always on, which was great for me!” So Spanish crew out there: if you’re feeling homesick, go to Miami!

Chicago. In case you didn’t know, this one is the third most populous city in the United States, and the New York City competitor par excellence when it comes to the construction of skyscrapers. “It was cool to be back in a big city,” says Axel (France). Sylvain (France), who also went in the same trip, agrees with him: “While there’s not much to do around Clinton, Chicago is a city full of possibilities,” he affirms. “And transportation is great, there are many ways of moving around the city.” According to those who were there (mostly French, but also Germans and one Belgian), Chicago is beautiful, especially when the sky is clear and the sun is shining; and the Navy Pier on the shoreline of Lake Michigan amazed them all. Nevertheless, and even when it was sunny, it was way too cold for our guys. Sylvain also talks about the cost of living, which in his own and trustworthy opinion is so high. “A packet of cigarettes costs $12.55!” Same as New York City: not everything can be good, right? And guess what? Some of our internationals even got to watch a real basketball game… And the Chicago Bulls won! It must have been pretty awesome.

Running out of ink and words here… Unfortunately, I would need too much space to write about each of our trips. What I can tell you, though, is that each and every one of us had an amazing time during those days of vacation. We got to see the outside world of the American society, unbelievably high skyscrapers and exceptional parties, contrasts we are not really used to back at home… And that is what this is all about, isn’t it? About travelling, getting to know what we never saw or even pictured before, about making discoveries we never imagined. Thanksgiving is coming, and most of us will be traveling again. So hang in there to know a little bit more about our adventures around the USA. And I can assure you: It will be legen… (wait for it)…dary!