A 2010/2011-es őszi félévre az atlantai Clayton Állami Egyetemre meghirdetett ösztöndíjat Terék Zsófia nyerte el, akinek élvezetes beszámolóját alább olvashatjátok. Szolgáljanak az alábbi sorok kedvcsinálónak a következő félévi ösztöndíj megpályázásához. 🙂
‘Somewhat over 90 degrees (Farenheit, of course), John Parkerson, the Honorary Consul of Hungary and a Georgian girl, Mariami Chubinidze welcomed me on August 10th, 2010, the date I arrived to the “Capital of the South”, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. It has been two months, since I got here and these two months have been the best of my life. Different culture, different environment, different people, different campus. Endless opportunities to learn.
I study at Clayton State University, which is a bit smaller school than University of Pannonia. I am one of the two first exchange students at the School Of Business and because of that I have been treated as a celebrity.
Why is it worth to take part in this exchange program? Apart from being able to practice English, you experience a lot about another part of the world. People are helpful, welcoming and friendly, and every second person points out how beautiful Budapest is, when I tell them that I am Hungarian. During the class, you discuss chapters to their details. Group works, in class assignments, projects are expected constantly during the semester, but along with the homework you get, you learn more about your profession. Have no fear, it is not impossible to perform well.
There are several other international students studying at the university, so one has the chance to learn more about any other parts of the world. I have already made friends from Sweden, Lebanon, and Nigeria and there are several other Americans, who descend from families from Brazil or Costa Rica.
Located in Morrow, 30 minutes away from the downtown of Atlanta, the campus looks like it was built in the middle of the woods. Among the large trees, there are several ponds giving home to ducks, turtles and the prides of the school, swans. I stay in the dorms, where I have my own room and share bathroom only with my Georgian friend. The use of the gym is free for students, which come handy, after having “American dinner”.
Outside school, there are several programs offered by this great area. One of my best memories includes visiting a baseball game. Atlanta Braves has been among the first three teams on the national league for the past years, so you can always expect a good game and outstanding atmosphere at the stadium! College football (and I mean American football not soccer) attracts many thousands of visitors, excitement is always in the air.
Besides sports, Atlanta offers many things to see. Did you know that the Atlanta Aquarium is the largest in the world? I have seen dolphins, penguins, seals and sharks for the first time in my life. If you are brave enough, you can stay in the aquarium for the night too to do a sleepover. I was not entirely sure, whether I wanted to have a shark facing me when I wake up first thing in the morning. Opposite to the Aquarium you can find the Coke headquarters, where you can taste Coke products from all over the world (if I may suggest, do NOT try Fanta in Thailand!). Or, if the weather is nice, you can just simply enjoy the sun in the Olympia Park, where the opening and closing ceremony of the Olympic Games took place in 1996. Martin Luther King was born in Atlanta as well, and there are several museums dedicating their services to his achievements in the fight for the equal rights of African-Americans in the United States.
An open mind, tolerance, empathy and kindness. These qualities are vital to be able to enjoy your time spent here. To get involved in life, you need to be able to accept differences that might not be normal or obvious for us in Hungary. Approximately 80% of the students are African-Americans and Atlanta registers the world second largest gay population in the USA, after San Francisco. This national and also international mixture gives the city a great atmosphere of diversity. If you like meeting new ideas, new ways of thinking, if you are not afraid of challenging yourself alone in a different culture, then I would strongly recommend applying for this scholarship. Putting this “journey” on your resume, or learning English from first-hand, are just some that you can gain from this opportunity. This is an experience that can never be taken from you!’