My semester abroad in East Stroudsburg, USA (2012)

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1 My semester abroad in East Stroudsburg, USA (2012) It has always been my dream to study in the USA for one semester and I was given this chance from August to December It was an amazing experience and a great time Before being able to travel to the USA, I had to go to Frankfurt in order to apply for a US visa. In order to get this visa, you have to pay a so called SEVIS fee of $180 and a fee for the visa itself which is 128. I booked a flight in March 2012, which was relatively early but it is important to book a flight early because you can save a lot of money; I found a direct flight from Düsseldorf to New York Newark. New York has two major international airports John F. Kennedy and Newark. We were told to take a flight to Newark because the coordinator of the Office of International Programs at East Stroudsburg University picked us up there and brought us to East Stroudsburg, for free of course! On our way to East Stroudsburg, we stopped at a supermarket in order to buy some things for the first night which included shampoo, towels etc. The next day, we drove to Walmart (Walmart can be reached easily by foot in 15 minutes) in order to buy bed linen. My first impression of East Stroudsburg was really good! It is a small town, yet there is everything you need and every shop can be reached easily within walking distance.

2 Hemlock Suites I lived in Hemlock Suites directly on campus. I had to walk 2 minutes to get to my classes. In Hemlock Suites, I shared a bedroom together with an American fellow student. Furthermore, I took the 19-meal-plan (as most of the international students) in East Stroudsburg. This means that you can go to the cafeteria three times a day from Monday to Friday and two times on Saturday and Sunday. I recommend you to take this meal plan because the difference in price to the 15-meal-plan is really small and with the 19-meal-plan, cooking yourself is definitely superfluous! Moreover, the food was very good and there was a great variety. Every Thursday night, there were so called international dinners; each week food from a different country was offered so you were able to experience and taste food from all over the world. For housing and meal plan I paid $4,588 in total. Thursday nights were moreover known to be the Thirsty Thursdays, which means that a lot of students from East Stroudsburg University (at least the ones who were 21 and older) went to the bars in Main Street. Siamsa on Main Street is an Irish pub and the food there is really delicious! You can go and enjoy the food until 10 PM and after that, the tables are put away in order for the party to start Admission is free before 12 PM when you present your student ID, after 12 PM there is a cover charge of $3. It is appropriate to go there before 12 PM because every drink is only $1. We went to this pub almost every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night and we had a great time with all the internationals and American fellow students. Taking a cab back to university is for free before 2 AM when you present your student ID to the cab driver. As all

3 the bars close at 2 AM, you will never have to pay for a cab to go back home. I took four classes in East Stroudsburg; all the classes are relatively small, which means that you will be sitting in class with about 20 more students. Midterm exams and term papers are written throughout the semester. For me, the classes were easy to follow and the professors and fellow students were very friendly and cooperative. East Stroudsburg University has its own recreation center directly located on-campus. You can go there and do various sports (racquetball, basketball, soccer, tennis, yoga, running ) the whole day. Admission is free when you are enrolled at ESU. The sports classes that were offered were very effective and well done. In our free time, that is, at the weekends, we traveled a lot. East Stroudsburg is located approximately 1 ½ hours from New York City by car so we often rented a car and went there. You are able to rent a car when you are at least 21 years old. You do not need to have an international driver s license, the German one is sufficient. A car costs about $50 per day, which is not much when you share one with five people. We took this opportunity to rent a car in order to go to Boston and Washington, D.C. for a weekend. Boston is about 5 hours from East Stroudsburg but it is definitely a city worth visiting. Same goes for Washington, D.C. which is about 4 hours away. Over Thanksgiving, we flew to Chicago for one week. We booked a flight already in September so we were able to purchase a cheap flight there. The Office of International Programs at ESU organized two city tours as well. These tours were free for us which was of course very much appreciated. At the end of October, we went to Philadelphia. In Philadelphia, we visited the National Constitution Center and the Liberty Bell. After that, we had some free time in the city before the bus went back to East Stroudsburg again in the evening (Don t miss to eat a real Philly cheesesteak in Philadelphia! ). In November, we went to New York City with the Office of International Programs. In New York, we went up the Empire State Building and had some free time as well after that. Originally, we planned to visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island but Hurricane Sandy, which hit the East Coast in October, thwarted our plans. On December 18 th, I unfortunately had to go to the airport in order to fly back to Germany. I went there teary-eyed because I really had a great time in the USA and I would recommend everyone to study abroad. It is

4 an experience that you will never forget in a lifetime and looking back at it now, I am really thankful that I was given this unique opportunity. If you have any further questions, feel free to contact me and I will be happy to help you! Sarah Schloßmacher, New York City

5 Boston Chicago by night

6 White House in Washington, D.C.

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