Chris Wilkinson

My Experience in South East Missouri University (SEMO)

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Little bit about me

Hi my name is Christopher Wilkinson; I am currently in finishing up a semester in SEMO as an international student. I am doing a four year degree in Marketing and I was offered a semester abroad as part of this course. The opportunity to study in the USA was one of the reasons I chose to do the course so I was very excited about coming over.

My Experience

I came over with two other students from my class both girls and I was to be living with two other female international students. I was a bit concerned about how this would work for me but it turned out to be great. The two foreign girls were really nice and we have become great friends. Trine is from Denmark and I learned a lot about Denmark I didn’t know from living with her. Alex the other roommate is from Belgium and just like with Trine I learned a lot from her too, I never knew they spoke so many different languages in the one country.

Although I got on really well with the girls I was still finding a bit hard without any “man time”. So I went to the head of the international exchange program who had given us all our classes and helped us out with accommodation and other necessary things, I asked him about sports in the area, I told him I was very interested in rugby and that I had played at home. To my surprise he told me that here in Cape Girardeau there was a rugby team and he gave me the email address of one of the players who attended the college. I contacted him and I started training with them after classes. After a few weeks I became really good friends with the guys on the team. They were really welcoming and they helped me experience American culture. They showed what homecoming was, where all the best restaurants were and I even got to play a bit of American Football. I was particularly good friends with a teammate named Brad who used to drive me to training and games. It is amazing how courteous and kind the Americans I met here are. I had only been here a few months and been out with Brad and his finance a few times before they invited me to stay in both their houses for Thanksgiving weekend, as I said I had never experienced thanksgiving before. Not only did I learn about thanksgiving I got three huge delicious dinners out of it as well. I plan keep in contact with all the guys I met over here and hopefully return the favour if they ever come to Ireland. But I didn’t only socialise with Americans we became friends with a good group of international students who we partied and hung out with and I learned a lot from them and had a great time too. They were from everywhere you could think of, Germany, Turkey, Netherlands, Korea, Japan, and Dubai a really diverse group but we got on great all the same.

Classes

I was really looking forward to see what our education was like compared to the Americans. I noticed that the Irish seemed to be far better educated. I found classes over here were not too difficult as long as I stayed on top of the work. I had some classes I really liked and some I didn’t like so much. I like the use of extra credit over here and more regular exams worth less of your final grade.

Conclusion

All in all I had a really great time, I learned a lot, I got to see all over America and I feel I grown better for the experience. Although I raised some of the funds myself I don’t think I would have been able to complete my experience without the very generous help from the DIT. I would like to sincerely thank you and the college for this great opportunity and for allowing us to experience it to the full

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