The beginning of the school
year is the time to wish students a
hearty welcome. This is a conflicting
time for most, with the last threads
of summer still hanging on to our
autumn sweaters, and the memories
of vacation still echoing on our
Facebook pages. Some students not
only have to adjust to the rigorous
schedule of school, but also the
culture shock of being back in their
home county, the good ole USA.
Making the change from any
country can be tough, especially
because America is unique in a lot
of ways. From driving on the right
side of the road again to re-mastering
the lingo, coming home can be the biggest adjustment some students
have to make this semester.
Most study abroad students have
summer or semester adventures in
big bustling cities, and Stevens Point
has a much different vibe. One of the
hardest feelings to shake is the city
beat, where it’s common to jump on
the subway and find yourself in a
different slice of town. There’s always
something to do, places to go, and
people to meet when you’re in a
foreign corner of the world.
Then there’s the culture. For one,
a Wisconsin accent doesn’t sound like
an oddity anymore. People smile on
the street! Everything’s in English!
You know what’s in the food...most
of the time! Bathrooms are free!
Some differences are welcome
between the States and elsewhere, but some are dearly missed. American
attitudes differ quite a bit from
Isabel Laperruque, a University
of Wisconsin – Stevens Point senior,
recently returned from France.
“In culture, I think one of the
biggest differences is that almost all of
the people that I met in France were
very openly politically active and
unafraid to express their opinions,
whereas I feel a lot of Americans
really dance around controversial
topics,” Laperruque said. “French
people sort of yell about it, but are
still friends at the end of it.”
To all returning UWSP students,
welcome home. To all the newbies
out there who want to learn more
about studying abroad, check out the
International Programs office on the first floor of the CCC (and that’s first
floor in the American sense, AKA the
ground floor, for all you European
students who don’t remember).
Whether it be to France, Spain,
Australia, Poland, Germany, England,
Thailand, Japan, or Narnia, UWSP
can get you there. (Just pulling your
leg! We have no program to Thailand.
Though if you have your heart set
somewhere, there’s always a way to
send you there - we’ve made great
advances in shipping packages.)
The overwhelming evidence
suggests it’s going to be the time of
your life, so hop to it and grab an
application to your dream destination.