Ellen- First Impressions

I arrived to New Haven late on Sunday, June 1st, tired, cranky, and utterly lost. 17 hours of travel from Beirut, between cars, planes, layovers, and shuttles, can really get to a person, and so walking around the city trying to find Morse College with a suitcase in tow was not exactly a pleasant experience. At the next red light, I asked a group of three random strangers for directions, and I’d like to think that’s when my summer officially kicked off. The girls turned out to be Yale students; they introduced themselves and offered to take me to the housing office for check-in, so after 30 minutes of wandering around and taking wrong turns, this was an enormous relief that made me just want to hug them.

photo 2 (1) (2)Whether you’re desperate and lost on the streets with your luggage, or just sitting around in the common room or dining hall, people here are immensely friendly and approachable; it’s very easy to ask for help if you need it, to simply joke around with someone, or to strike up an interesting conversation. There’s definitely a lot of great conversations to be had, especially considering that there are people from all around the world gathered here in the same place.

The residential colleges are also very comfortable and practical, with a cozy atmosphere and everything you might need within your reach. I have developed a ritual (albeit only one-week long so far) of sitting in the courtyard after a long day of classes, because the view is lovely and it’s always buzzing with people having fun or just relaxing.


Ine: First Impressions

There are some things that can be noticed in the US without even leaving the airport. Toilet cubicles have massive gaps that allow for a very social experience, coffee seems to be what keeps the country going and people are extremely nice. This last characteristic saved me a thirty-minute wait at airport customs because I was escorted to the front of the line for looking pale and not feeling well after my flight.

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After getting of the shuttle bus and paying the driver a ten dollar tip for carrying my insanely heavy luggage, I arrived at my room at the Ezra Stiles residential college. I expected to have a roommate, but was pleasantly surprised by a room of my own on the top floor.

I was a little nervous about starting on this ten week adventure by myself, but within 30 minutes, a girl named Sagarika knocked on my door and we got along right away. I have met a ton of new friends since from all over the world: China, India, America and Malaysia (this guy actually knows more about the Dutch soccer team than I do), Singapore and Mexico.

At the end of the first week, a couple of us went to explore the campus. The buildings are amazing! And of course we had to rub the toe of Teodore Dwight Woolsey and buy ourselves an embarrassing amount of random things with Yale stamped on it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI am taking two courses this session: “Sex, Gender and Society” and “Happiness”. Back in the Netherlands, I am used to sitting in a classroom with 40-100 other students listening to what the professor has to say, simple taking notes and reading the material later on. The classes here are completely different. There are about 12 students per class and the professors really expect us to speak up and speak our minds. I have never met people who enjoyed teaching others like the professors at Yale (which definitely makes up for the fact that I have also never had to read this much before).

On the weekends, many students go on trips to New York, Boston or the beach. I have planned my trip to Boston for the weekend in between session A and B and am really looking forward to it!

My first week here went by so fast! I haven’t been homesick at all, although the rain in this first week did remind me of home.

One week down, nine left to enjoy!

**Ine is here for Yale Summer Session A & B.







Introducing Ine: Yale Summer Session

**Ine is a student studying here for Yale Summer Session A & B.

My name is Wilhelmina Castelijns, but people call me Ine. I grew up in a very small Dutch town near the city of Eindhoven where I live right now (although everything in the Netherlands would probably be considered near Eindhoven from an Americans perspective).ine1

I am an Economics student at Tilburg University and plan on finishing my Bachelors degree at the end of this year. Afterwards, I would either like to pursue a Masters degree there called “The Economics of Aging and Retirement” or go for a completely different route and pursue a degree in International Business abroad. Attending Yale University for 10 weeks this summer will hopefully not only give me a great academic experience but also broaden my view when it comes to the opportunities and experiences that such an international education would provide.
I am really looking forward to meet my fellow students, being taught by great professors and see for myself what it takes to be a student at Yale.

In my spare time I like to read a good book, travel, meet up with my friends or tell myself that I work out a lot while I really stay home and enjoy a great meal.

ines2One last note for all future interested international students wishing to apply for a summer at Yale: all those warnings about starting your application on time actually should be taken to heart. Whether it is taking the TOEFL, choosing your courses or asking your home university for permission to use some of them for your curriculum back home; it all takes time. Leave yourself with some to really look forward to the amazing experience that lies ahead.

I know that is what I will be doing this week!

Amy: Final Post

It is only three weeks since I stood outside Calhoun College gates excited for what I had in front of me. Now, I have just pasted through the gates for my travel home to Norway.

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When you live together with other people for three weeks, you quickly build strong friendships. You are together with your friends all the time. During meals three times a day, classes and other activities on campus. Leaving Calhoun College and saying goodbye to the people I have got to know the last couple of weeks was very sad and difficult.
I must honestly say that I wish my program lasted longer than three weeks because I would have loved to stay longer, because of all of the wonderful people around me.

My teachers have been amazing. All of them have been passionate about what they are teaching and they are all very inspiring. The first classes everybody had every morning was reading and writing, and speaking and listening. In my reading and writing course we focused on writing our college application essay, which I found very beneficial. In my speaking and listening class we had presentations and my teacher Mr.Cat always prepared amusing activities for us during class. We often worked together in groups, which made class even more fun.

Two other classes we had during the afternoons was critical thinking and academic coaching. Critical thinking was a great class, because I learned a lot you usually do not learn during high school because it is not an optional class. I also found my academic coaching class being very beneficial because of the good guidance we got according to the list of schools we wanted to apply to and our application form. Later during the day all of the students were offered to attend one or more elective classes. My electives were, the magic of short stories and SAT prep. All of the classes were different, however they all had in common that they prepared us for applying for college and the teachers could not have been better.

Thursday night we had a lovely farewell reception in Woolsey Hall in the president’s room. It was a nice way of ending these wonderful weeks. Everyone took many pictures and we were given our certificates.

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At last, I want to say that I could not have been happier about the course I have attended at Yale. I want to thank all of the amazing people that I have been surrounded by the last three weeks. It has been incredible meeting all of you, and I hope that I will see many of you again. I have learned a great deal from my classes, however I have learned a lot about different cultures from all of my international friends. I wish you all the best of luck for the future.

Thank You!


I know I stated this after my first week, but now that two weeks soon has passed, I cant believe how quickly they have gone past!

Last Saturday I together with many other students from Yale, went on a daytrip to Boston. This was my first time there and I was amazed over how beautiful the city was. We went to the museum of fine arts and later we walked to the harbour and a shopping mall called per. The weather was lovely and sunny on Saturday so I would call it a very successful trip.


On Wednesday, everyone in my University prep course went to Providence to visit Brown University. I must say that it is an amazing opportunity to actually visit different universities and meet students who are attending the different schools. Brown has a beautiful campus with many old traditions. The school is located close to the city of Providence, which has many galleries, shops and restaurants.

I am so lucky to be spending these three weeks with fantastic students from all over the world, so I would like you to meet two students who are attending the same course as me.


Dio: My Electives

This summer I’m taking 4 elective classes: Idiomatic Expression, Business Games, Academic Coaching and Pronunciation. I’m going to tell you about my summer experience. The classes are awesome & the teachers are amusing. They teach with their own style, which are all different from each other.

Business Games

The teacher for this class is Kirk T. Hughes. The most interesting part of this class is playing the games. Every class I feel so excited. The Ball game, Business simulation, vowel dance, and Interviewing is some of the subjects in this class. This class teaches us how to build our interpersonal and communication skills in the business field, beyond analyses of cost and benefits.


 Idiomatic Expression

My teacher Susan Weldon, She is a nice person. I like the way when she is teaching, such as role play on the stage. I have learned a lot of new vocabulary, especially in American idiomatic. I practice it in the class with my friends and also the teachers will correct our wrong pronunciation. In my opinion, this class is important because I try to understand the meaning of each idiomatic expression, which lots of people in America use idioms in their daily activity.


Actually, I didn’t take the pronunciation class before one of my teachers suggested me to take the pronunciation class because my speaking is fast and hard to understand. I decided to take evening pronunciation class. And the teacher is Kelly Nedwick, she is also my teacher in Academic Coaching. I miss two pronunciation class in the beginning of program. After asking to enter the pronunciation class, she immediately give me the response and attach the homework which I have to do. It was surprised, because the deadline is on the same day she reply my email. What a wonderful world. This is not summer break for me, this is my summer work!  I’m studying a lot at Yale. The pronunciation class is so nice and relaxed with her humor.

The class is teaching me how to sound like American, particularly in northeast American style. The first class I learn how to pronounce P,T,K with voiceless sound and B,D,G with voiced sound. We learn also how to pronounce TH in the right way and the past verb “ed”. I found a lot of my own mistakes on this subject. I think the class is quite important for me.

Academic Coaching

Academic coaching class guides us to the further education, especially in graduate program. Kelly teaches us what we should do to prepare our graduate application in United States, preparing essays and trying to solve the GRE and GMAT test. She gives us advice from her academic experience and what should we consider for our academic career. The class helps to prepare our application for a graduate program.

Amy: First Impressions

It is hard to believe that I have already been at Yale for a week!

When I arrived at Calhoun College on Saturday I must admit that I was a little nervous. The nervous feelings quickly disappeared when I opened the door to my dorm and met my American roommate, Lauren. She showed me around the campus and I met a lot of new people! I was quickly amazed by the area around the campus and all the beautiful buildings!

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My course started on Monday where I met all my fellow students who also were attending the University prep course. We are a group of students from Sweden, Germany, Monaco, France, Kazakhstan, Italy, Venezuela and many other countries. We have become a great group and I find it really interesting sharing and learning about the different cultures and traditions!

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Since we are in a university prep course we are going to visit different universities every week. This Thursday we went to the University of Connecticut. We were split up into groups and toured around the very large campus accompanied by the local students. It was very interesting looking around the school and very informative regarding the school’s offering.  It was also very inspiring to talk to the students about what they liked most about their school.

After this University visit, we went to the Yale Outdoor Education Center for a barbecue. When we arrived back, everyone was so hungry that we rushed out of the buses to the dinner awaiting us.  Even though it was raining and the temperature was a lot lower than usual, we had a lovely time! The brave ones even went for a swim in the lake, which was actually pretty warm compared to the air temperature.

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When you are staying at Yale, there is always something going on. There are many different activities organized on campus such as Ping-Pong tournaments, movie nights, trips to the mall, trips to the beach and many more! There are also many great places around the campus where you can go and eat or just enjoy a dessert. During the weekends we do not have any classes, so tomorrow I am going to Boston which I am very excited about! My first week here has been just amazing. The course, the campus and all the friendly people here have really made an impression and I am really looking forward to my next two weeks! 🙂