Finding out within the US: “All of the clichés are true!”

After spending four intense months in the United States, Eva, 22, can only think of leaving. This experience, very short according to the student-engineer, nevertheless allowed him to discover a country that constantly lives in excess.

In her fifth year of biological and agri-food engineering at the Polytech Montpellier engineering school, Eva has just returned to France, ready to resume her life as a student. And yet, for four months, from August to last December, lived at the pace of American students at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities in Minneapolis🇧🇷 “It’s been four months of great happiness, we don’t see the time pass”, he exclaims. Even if everything was decided very quickly for Eva, expatriating several thousand kilometers from her home was an incredible experience.

Study abroad? A chance to seize it without hesitation

“I always told myself that one day I would work abroad. Last year, the school introduced us to the various agreements that existed between Polytech and foreign universities, I immediately wanted to take a chance! For me, it was an opportunity to gain experience, improve my English and test my desire to go abroad. I considered Canada first. A position became available at the University of Minnesota, and after much hesitation, I accepted. The United States, along with New Zealand and Australia, were among my favorite countries, so doubts gave way to excitement.”

Everything was decided in March, for a match scheduled for August. I took the TOEFL in May, it was a necessary condition to validate my application. In June, I officially learned that I was leaving. I had never left France and my loved ones for so long, but once there, we don’t see time pass, we just ask to enjoy it, ” she says.

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Life in the United States: Strengths, Weaknesses

Eva was immediately seduced by this “American” life “Everything is excessive, the clichés we have about America are true. I particularly experienced this at university-organized sporting events. There were more than 50,000 people, planes flying over the matches, crazy weather… It was incredible!”

Staying on campus, the student experienced this sometimes delirious atmosphere up close. “I wanted a room in a residence hall. It was much more expensive, but it had a direct view of the football field and the university’s multi-sports court. I saw the students practicing, the ‘cheerleaders’ (American name for cheerleaders, Editor’s Note) repeat… Campus life is very important, it’s like in the movies and this allows you to live the experience at 100%“, guarantees Eva. The student also liked it very much. the quality of teaching that she received. “I adapted very quickly, whether it’s taking English notes or classes. Being close to the teachers helps us feel good in class.”

Eva took advantage of her stay in the United States to get to know the American culture. // © Photo provided by the witness

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However, some black spots remain. The cost of living is on average 31% higher than in France (depending on the cost of the expatriate). During her four months in the US, Eva paid $4,500 for her roommate. 🇧🇷The food is also very expensive: 8 dollars for fresh pasta. I was very suspicious of the products offered, as many are frozen. To this must be added taxes, which differ from state to state upon checkout.” Also note: Tipping is mandatory in restaurants and bars.

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Make the most of your stay… from day one

According to Eva, if there is only one thing to remember about this experience, it is to enjoy it as soon as you arrive. 🇧🇷I told myself I had time, but anyway, I waited too long and the exams arrived. There are things I haven’t had time to do or see…” The student even allowed herself a few days in New York and Chicago. Eva also enjoyed her student life by participating in events organized by the university: games, fairs, parades, concerts…”I would recommend joining a club to fit in well. Americans work in a ‘group’ mode, it’s not in class that you make friends, but in clubs. And because there’s something for everyone, even if you’re not staying there for long, it helps bond faster.”

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The student also advises to start the steps to leave for the United States as soon as possible. in particular to do visa application🇧🇷 “We have to make an appointment with the American embassy in Paris, there is an interview, a questionnaire to fill out… We must not do this at the last minute.” If you plan to go out in the winter, during preparations, don’t go out too loaded. You can find clothing adapted to the cold directly on site and at more attractive prices.

🇧🇷In the end, I was counting the days because I didn’t want to leave… So don’t hesitate to start, everything will be fine”, concludes Eva.

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Eva Leaf from the United States

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