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Life is comfortable because...

In my previous entry, I briefly shared my story about my initial choices between joining a distance learning program (offered by a different institution) and applying to the U of M. As I have chosen to come to the U and extremely happy about the decision, I would like to write some more about the environment that I enjoy in the Twin Cities and on campus.

The Twin Cities (the nickname for the two neighboring cities, Minneapolis and St. Paul) are known for the diverse demographics, and I've been enjoying the opportunity living in such a cosmopolitan community. I had had little knowledge about the Hmong people until I made a friend with a Hmong student last year, and learned about their cultural background at one of the courses. The Somali population is also big, encouraging me to think of their homeland in Africa which remains unstable with a fragile government. I definitely appreciate the diverse environment. The people are open, liberal, and friendly, which have made my life much more comfortable than it would have been in other cities. (Minnesota is also known to be a state that consistently ranks at the top of the highest voting rate. Doesn't it tell something?) Thanks to the diversity, there are a variety of ethnic restaurants and grocery shops, too. We never get bored of restaurant choices!

I love the transportations in the Twin Cities. Even though I have no car, I can get around by myself quite easily. The wintertime is a bit harder to wait in line for a bus, but I keep myself warm by staying inside a nearby building until the bus comes. Some major bus stops even come with heating which saves our lives!

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One of the campus shuttle buses

All of my classes are offered on Minneapolis campus. When the weather is nice, I enjoy walking around campus with lots of green (except for wintertime...) and squirrels (all year round...amazingly.) I also hop on Campus Connector (the university shuttle bus) or local buses for getting around quickly. I shouldn't forget to mention our life savior, Gopher Ways. They are the underground paths that connect buildings to buildings so that we don't have to go out in the freezing winter. The campus is huge, but once you are familiar with locations, it is quite nice.

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Having the campus situated in the heart of the vibrant city, there are so many things we can enjoy outside of campus. Check it out in the other ambassadors' entries, too!

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