It was my first experience as an exchange student as well as my first time to travel to the USA, and I’m really glad that the program’s destination was the College of Charleston (CofC). I had a great time here and I could talk about it infinitely but I’ll try to be neat and summarize the most important points in this short blog post.
First of all, I should say that the organization was perfect. All the help with pre-arrival preparations, individual picking up from the airport, student buddies system, all the infinite events held etc., all of these were really well-organized, helpful, exciting and a lot of fun. Probably the most outstanding was how CofC turned the hurricane Mathew student panic into an amazing trip to the University of South Carolina in Columbia for those who had no place to go to during the disaster. I guess I should also advertise the Washington trip held by the Center of International Education and the International Club. It’s the city you definitely have to visit if you’re coming to the US and they make it much cheaper, much more organized and much more interesting for you. To be honest, all the events I managed to attend in the CofC were really good, with lots of free food and snacks, interesting people to meet and unforgettable hospitable atmosphere.
Second, I really love people in Charleston. I come from Ukraine and I study in Estonia, and I would say that people in these two countries are rather quite, calm and a bit cold. That’s why I was really surprised with how friendly, hospitable and open Americans and all the international students in CofC are. It’s really easy to make friends there and it’s really pleasant to live when everyone always smiles to you and wishes you a good day. Being surrounded with permanent positivity, your mood will stay great even during really bad times. I should also mention an awesome opportunity to meet international students that CofC provides. Since there are a lot of people from the most different parts of the world (America, Europe, Asia, Africa) Charleston is a great place to learn about foreign cultures from natives. Besides, since a lot of CofC students had an exchange semester abroad they could also tell you a lot about their experience. I really enjoyed this opportunity and broadened my mind a lot making by friends from all over the world.
One final thing that I really liked in Charleston was lots of activities you can do there. You will always have something to do besides attending classes and will never get bored in the CofC. First of all, there are loads of events held by Center of International Education, student organizations and clubs. You will find some social event at least every other day. If you’re into sports, you can sign up to play for a college team or go play just for fun every week. You can go to one of the college’s gyms to exercise or attend group classes. They have a cool dancing room in one of the gyms, which I really enjoyed going to every other day. Moreover, if you’re playing a musical instrument CofC have lots of practice rooms in the building of arts where you can play either piano or your own instrument any day and any time. I won’t say much about academics because it’s rather major specific, but all the teachers I had there were rather like friends to their students always caring and trying to help every single one. I liked that teachers often promoted interesting events related to their subjects so that the students could learn more about them. Last but not least, you can always go swimming and sunbathing to the ocean, since it’s really warm at least until November.
Overall, I will always remember my amazing exchange semester in the College of Charleston and be grateful to the staff and my friends who made my stay there really fantastic. I associate CofC with lots of well-organized and exciting social and educating events and really warm and friendly people. I wish I could stay there longer and I dream about going to Charleston at least once more in the future.
– Mykola Herasymovych, Economics Exchange student from Tartu University, Estonia