Outline: Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSI) for Student Leaders from Europe are intensive short-term academic programs whose purpose is to provide groups of undergraduate student leaders with a deeper understanding of the United States, while simultaneously enhancing their leadership skills. The following article is a real testimonial from an ISCTE Business School student, who lived in Kansas on an American campus after being awarded with a $12,000 Fulbright Foundation Scholarship!
As part of the SUSI program, I spent four weeks at Kansas State University (KSU) during the summer. I immediately fell in love with the KSU campus, especially since I had the chance to explore it without all the fuss, given that all the American students were on their summer holidays. Campus being empty, it was possible to wander around without having to wait in queues to take care of almost anything – our mentors admitted we were very lucky!
As I have a passion for video games (especially the simulation type), when I got to the campus for the first time, I immediately thought: Hey, this looks like inside the Sims game! The campus consists of around one hundred different buildings, which totally knocks you out at first! As a matter of fact, what brings the city of Manhattan to life is indeed the Campus – summer made it look like a ghost city! In comparison, the universities in Portugal do not have at all such an impact on to resident’s lives – it’s like comparing an elephant to an ant! One curious detail – even the Kansas State president has his own residence at the KSU Campus, it is that huge.
LIVING IN A DORM FOR THE FIRST TIMEool
For a student who had never shared a room before, sharing such a private space with a stranger was definitely a challenge. I must admit, this would not have been easy had I not dealt with people from different cultures before. Arriving at the accommodation for the first time was stressful, unpacking my stuff made me realize how losing my privacy would affect me. In the end, it was my back that suffered most, due to the uncomfortable old bed! 🙂 Another challenge I faced was bathroom sharing. There was only one bathroom per floor, cleaned once a week, and available to us the European girls and some other girls on exchange. Let me tell you, girls are not as clean as one may think!
As a Fulbright scholar, I had all my food expenses covered. The Derby was the place to eat during the week, whereas on weekends we usually went to other restaurants in Manhattan. The derby had many different sorts of food available – for breakfast you could for instance eat a sausage patty with French fries and tons of fruit and cereals, and even a dessert on top (I am not kidding, dessert for breakfast is a serious thing). It was very difficult to eat healthy in the United States, fast food was everywhere, very cheap and impossible to resist! Our semi-equipped kitchen was not very useful either. Conclusion: it was better to eat out rather than make your own food, and was usually cheaper!
The Library was my favourite place on the Campus. It was a tremendous building with almost infinite number of divisions. What I liked a lot was the fact that the Library was very well equipped – many books, whiteboards, and even brand new Macs everywhere! Another peculiar detail about the Library – there was a room solely dedicated to Harry Potter!
THE RECREATIONAL CENTER
Since we were so diligent during classes and other field activities, keeping active and healthy was quite difficult. Nonetheless, usually over weekends, we tried to do sports as a squad; sometimes we would go running or simply head to the Recreational Center, the astonishing building dedicated to fitness exercises, climbing, or any other physical activity.
Despite of the uncomfortable nights spent on the dorm’s rough bed (haha), in the end everything went very well and in fact I miss KSU very much! The weather in Kansas was extremely warm, but it was very pleasant to walk or run around the campus, sit on the grass or try to chase squirrels! I felt and obviously still feel very honoured to have spent time at this astonishing American University. Feel free to check the KSU map’s below.
You can also check the whole experience by clicking in the following links:
Some useful links:
* Kansas State University Map: http://www.k-state.edu/maps/index.html
* SUSI INFO: http://www.fulbright.pt/articles/study-of-the-u-s-institutes-susi-for-student-leaders-from-europe/study-of-the-u-s-institutes-susi-for-student-leaders-from-europe
* My Fulbright Experience (written in Portuguese): http://www.fulbright.pt/articles/my-fulbright-experience/emilia-de-abreu
* Studying in the USA! When, What and Why? http://simplicityischic.blogspot.pt/2015/07/studying-at-usa-when-what-and-why.html
* Exclusive Report From a Fulbright Foundation Scholarship Recipient: http://uduni.com/fulbright-foundation-scholarship-susi-application
Author: Emília de Abreu
“One of my biggest traits is to search for reasons and motives, I am very careful about my choices and decisions. Notably, I always take great satisfaction from being busy and productive, especially when I am writing or working with brands, press and media as part of my blogger tasks.” Fulbright Alumnus: Portuguese Student Leader Representative at SUSI on Environmental Stewardship 2015. Currently studying Economics at ISCTE Business School and blogging at Simplicity is Chic.