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July 9, 2019

Why studying in the USA is incomparable and which were my travel highlights.

"Rock Chalk, new Jayhawks"

We international students were welcomed to the University of Kansas (KU) almost exactly a year ago. The KU is located in Lawrence, a typical small American town and one of the few bruises in the otherwise very conservative state of Kansas. With almost 30,000 students, it is the largest university in the state and known for its successful international exchange program.

Here I studied for two semesters at the Faculty of Journalism and quickly learned that student life in the USA is very different from that in Germany.

Once a jayhawk, always a jayhawk

What impressed me most was the strong sense of community. From its own sports teams to shops and campus media - the university is like a microcosm. In addition to the various faculties, libraries and canteens, the KU had, for example, several museums, supermarkets and even its own mascot, the Jayhawk.

In addition, there was a wide range of events: lectures by the individual faculties, events by student organizations and various sporting competitions. So it's no wonder I spent most of the day on campus.

In keeping with the motto “Once a jayhawk, always a jayhawk”, many students stay connected with the KU their entire lives and come back home every year for what is known as homecoming, for example. On my travels I have met people with Jayhawk shirts all over the US and even though they didn't know each other, I immediately felt a sense of connectedness.

My highlights from 25 states

  • Coffee in Central Park, strolling through Manhattan and ending the evening in Brooklyn - I've been to New York, my favorite city, three times.
  • Yosemite National Park, Death Valley, San Francisco and LA - none of the 25 states I saw during my year abroad are as wonderfully diverse as California.
  • Climbing volcanoes, hiking through the bamboo jungle, discovering colorful beaches and swimming with turtles - if I had to choose an absolute travel highlight, it would definitely be Hawaii.

Conclusion: Through my studies in the heart of the USA and traveling in 25 states, I got to know and appreciate the country. As different as the landscape is from the east to the west coast, so are the people. Discovering this diversity and at the same time experiencing warm hospitality everywhere made the year so special for me.