As promised, here you have the second part of Expectations and reality, in case you missed the first one, click HERE. In short, in these posts I will compare and analyze my expectations of the exchange program before I came to Bowling Green, USA and how they turned out after more than 3 months living here. Today I will be looking at the social life and the free time.
Expectations: After my exchange year in 2010/2011 I knew the social life was quite different from the one back in Slovakia, or in Wales. However watching many college American films, I had little bit of fear of what is going to happen. On the other hand anytime I move to live somewhere else (even though it gets better with each time) I’m not quite sure how I will find friends. On those then would my social life depend on. In short my expectations were bland, not really sure what to expect.
Reality: The semester started very good as you could read in my earlier posts, through the International Orientation before the semester and the organization Global Connections I found my closest friends here. Back in August and September, there was an exciting event going on every day however as the semester progressed, more work is piling up and the range of my friends got little bit tighter. But I try to find as much time as possible to spend time with them (and my boyfriend) during various activities -eating out, studying together, concerts, exhibitions, theater plays, cinema, shopping, traveling, making movies, taking pictures or just hanging out. What is life without friends? I’m happy to find these such interesting people to spend time with, many of which are international students and experience with them the aspects of the different culture.
What I’m trying to say, it may be little bit worrying at first, coming to different country not knowing anyone. But there are always friendly and like-minded people which you will eventually find. Just be friendly, available and smile!
Expectations: One of the main reasons I chose to go to USA was because of their enormous film industry, so I thought studying in American university could give me different interesting opportunities I didn’t have back in Aberystwyth. Bowling Green is smaller town, but not so far (or at least that’s what I thought) from Columbus, Detroit and even Chicago. So I thought if the university itself wasn’t providing me with enough experience in film (which is the main objective how I want to spend my free time) I would be able to take a bus and go to professional shooting for weekend or something.
Reality: The reality is awesome! After finishing all my course work I just dive into the pre-production of upcoming films, the production or the editing the filmed ones. Joining two organizations on the campus- BGReel/UFO (University Film Organisation) and BGonTV was the best decision I made. The communities are striving, making films, educating themselves, organizing festivals and being very supportive of perspective ideas. Aside from that I spend my free time in the gym/the pool which are completely free (unlike Aberystywth where I had to pay for Sports card and extra for each entry). And lastly each Monday I visit La Maison Francaise, a French community for coffee and tea conversation in French. My original plan of traveling out of the town to visit professional sets has failed for now, due to non-existent mean of transportation to the closest bus station in Toledo. However I don’t even have time for that, so I don’t mind.
Here is one of the newest films I made during my free time with Caroline (best way to spend time!)