Hi I’m Justin, I’m a Mechanical Engineering student at the University of Southampton, and I’m spending my semester abroad at Purdue University, Indiana, USA. I’ll be using this blog to record my experience here and hopefully give an idea to anyone considering the study abroad program what it will be like.
After an 8 hour flight to Chicago, my first contact with Purdue was a coach with ‘Purdue University – Boilermaker Express’ printed on the side (Boilermakers is the nickname for Purdue students).
The cliché that everything is bigger in America turns out to be very true. The first thing you notice is the enormous roads, cars and buildings. I got to my halls of residence and was warmly greeted by the front desk with mid-western American Hospitality
The first week was all about orientation and getting to grips with the area. It’s a very large campus, with almost 50,000 students, which could initially be daunting for some, but by the end of the week, I knew my way around quite well.
We had tours, welcome talks, comedy shows and a bunch of different social events to make us feel at home.
Purdue University is a highly prestigious engineering school (among other subjects also), with about a third of NASA astronauts being Purdue alumni. A famous alumnus in particular is Neil Armstrong, whom they named a building after!
I will finish with the following picture, that sums up the experience for me. Study abroad isn’t simply about being a tourist in a foreign country. Not only is it to broaden your horizons, and put you out of your comfort zone in a new place, It’s also about experiencing a snapshot of what life would be like if you were to live in your host country. This is part of my morning commute to lectures and I won’t be getting tired of it any time soon.