Today I want to write about my daily life as an international student.
I am about the graduate after this semester, and it really makes me think about my life here in U.S.
Truly, I will miss Minnesota a lot. A LOT
Usually, I woke up at 6:10 or 6:20 a.m. Trust me, I'm not an early bird type, but I'm used to it after I came here. It is because I'm living off campus housing so if I have a morning class (the earliest class starts from 8:00) and my work schedule (also starts at 8:00 a.m.), I really need to get prepared at last 40 minutes before. Don't worry. I'm living quite far from the campus. Usually students live much closer than me or they ride a bicycle or car. Campus connectors are another great transportation system to make your life easier.
At first, commuting to campus was one of the hardest things that I needed to adjust myself. Also, when I was in Korea, I'm from the big city where transportation systems were much convenient. Bus and subway stops were everywhere, and if I was late, I could just waive my hand to Taxi and usually got one within few minutes. So, it was hard for me to wake up and walk to school (yes, sometimes in snowy, slippery, dark morning of Minnesota winter)
However, I got used to my new daily life soon and I found out walking to school in morning is actually very fresh and healthy. Also, coffee really helps. (You can find many coffee shops on campus too!)
After eating lunch, I have all the classes. If you are worrying about having lunch, there are so many places you can get your lunch. However, if you eat outside a lot, it cost you lots of money too. This is why I usually pack my lunch box.
Minnesota has many cultural grocery stores, so you don't need to worry about it too much. Many microwaves are available on campus, so you can enjoy your lunch warm and fresh!
One thing that took me for a while to adjust was I needed to eat my lunch alone. I couldn't imagine myself eating alone in public before I came here. However, I became more independent and found out it is quite hard to find a friend who has exactly same schedule with you.
The earliest time that I finish my class is 2:00 p.m., but the latest evening class is done at 8:10 p.m. Last year, I intentionally had a schedule for only three days for school per week. Registering classes is really up to you unless your department has specific rules. I saw many students designed their schedule in the most convenient way for themselves.
I usually take 15 ~ 18 credits. When I was in Korea, I usually took over 24 credits every semester and it was totally fine with me. However, since university system is quite different, 18 credits are actually quite a load.
I understand some of students want to take as many as credits, but please talk to your academic adviser about your credit load. (Especially, if you are a first year student!) Once, I took 21 credits and I ended up dropping some classes at the middle of my semester.
After my classes are all done, I usually stay on campus for studying and doing my assignments because I feel lazy when I'm at home. There are tons of places you can study on campus and most of places on campus have university WIFI. If you have a project group or study group, this is time when the students usually meet up.
Usually, I try to finish my assignment at least a day in advance so I do my homework at night. Especially, if you need some writing support from writing center, you may want to ready your writing "at least" a day before the due date.
(When you have your syllabus at the beginning of the semester, mark all the due dates and make an appointment with writing center in advance if you need.)
Also, if you have reading assignment, please do not procrastinate. It will be bigger and bigger so by the time you need to take a test, it may be beyond your ability. (THAT happened to me before)
So, this is how my just "normal" day looks like.
However, you will be surprised how many "unexpected" and "unplanned" things happened to your life at the University of Minnesota.
At first, you may be scared or puzzled. However, you will soon realize, those are really valuable and amazing experiences.
Good luck, my friends!