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.
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.
I 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.