‘Just a small town girl’… I imagine Journey were thinking of Fulton, Missouri when they wrote ‘Don’t Stop Believing.’ It’s a small city in the middle of Missouri with a population of approximately 12,000 – which I imagine is made up mostly of students from Westminster College, where I’m currently studying. However, I’m starting to love it here – it’s very different from anything I’ve been used to in the past. I have been to America before but not such a small town, which makes it much more homely of a place!
I’ve met and become close friends with a girl who lives just 5 minutes away from me and drives in everyday for her classes. She has even been nice enough to offer myself and my fellow British exchange friend a lift to both Jefferson City and Columbia. Most of the students do drive here… as is the American way! It’s something I’ve had to get used to as I was surprised to find that the UK has a better public transport system than the States’ does.
Everyone is just so nice, welcoming and helpful here, particularly to international students. I was surprised at how many international students there are in total, coming from schools all over the world under the organisation United World Colleges. Being an international student has been such an interesting experience so far because I’ve met such a diverse group of people that I never would have done had I not come to Missouri.
I’ve also been very lucky with the classes that I’ve picked and I’m really looking forward to diving into greater depth with some exciting new topics. It was particularly amusing that my professor teaching the ‘US History Since 1877’ class is from Wales, because, well, no one is interested in their own history! Much of my classes draw on contemporary issues and in particular, how the US interacts with these. As a politics student, this is great and keeps me updated with politics at a time when the US primary elections are about to begin.
I’ve also joined the choir and this weekend we’re going to be singing for the Cardinals Caravans. I didn’t know who these were at first but it turns out they’re a pretty renowned baseball team from St. Louis and we’re singing the National Anthem for them as they go on tour and attempt to attract more fans – hopefully I’ll get a picture or something! I really want to see a baseball game while I’m here too… I’ve been told that won’t be difficult because they’re everywhere. The baseball season doesn’t start until April though so I’m looking forward to celebrating the huge tradition that is the Super Bowl very soon.