Bringing the learning home (Australian Learning & Teaching Council)

American College Life

I am so glad and happy that I chose to study abroad in America. The experience that I’m already having is incredible and everyday I find myself doing something I wouldn’t do back home.

 At the moment life is crazy, I’m a pledge member of the sorority Alpha Epsilon Phi which is the best decision I have made here and perhaps one of the best decisions of my life. I’ve met so many people through this organization and have already found some friends that I know are for life not just a year. Everyone is so excited to hear about Australia and they just love my accent and new words like ‘Maccas’ for McDonalds and ‘singlet’ instead of ‘tank top’. Heaps of the girls from my sorority have told me I can stay with them during the summer so it’s great for networking because I have a home now anywhere I want to travel. Being in Greek Life is probably one of the most American College experiences to have and I’m loving every minute of it. I also joined a student run dance group and we meet once a week and have a performance in about a month, it’s interesting to see the difference in dance style too. Living in the dorms is also a typical American experience, it’s great that it only takes a few minutes to visit friends!

Very excited for Spring Break! – only 20 days away and I’m off to Cancun, Mexico with one of my American friends and 2 other international students, one from Canada and the other is Aussie. Again it’s going to be an amazing college experience that we wouldn’t have back home!

Classes are so different here and the work load is only getting more intense however I think grading might be easier, let’s just say I had a small paper (only 2 pages) to write and I know it wasn’t my best work yet I still received an ‘A’ – however that might be that physically I’m doing much more work!

Overall I’m loving every minute of the American College experience, I love the sense of community and the fact that it’s not just about academics, there’s a huge social aspect that I’m going to miss when I go back home so I’m going to try and not take it for granted now!

The picture below is a poster that was on my dorm door, it says ‘You’ve hopped your way into the hearts of AEPhi’ Which is the nickname of my sorority

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2 responses

  1. jangothard

    What a cultural immersion, Danielle! Keep us all informed about the Greek thing – I think this is VERY foreign territory to a lot of us – our knowledge starts and stops with images of Animal House and hazing ( is that the right term?) – and I once saw a documentary about frat houses which talked about ‘the running of the pigs’ when girls had to ‘rush’ to pledge for their sororities – kind of gross! So I have a great deal to learn which isnt just based on media representations! And I have had a lot of Greek students on study abroad at Murdoch and they have certainly spoken very highly of the value of frats and sororoties. Can you send us a photo of your sorority house?

    Great experience!

    Jan

    February 14, 2011 at 8:11 am

    • Danielle

      The only knowledge I had before this was from Legally Blonde!
      It’s nothing like that what so ever, the ‘hazing’ aspect is true for fraternities and some sororities (not mine though) and it’s true that the process is called ‘rush’ but it was basically just 3 days of meeting all the sororities and girls and finding out which one is the place for you.
      It’s really amazing, so much work though during this pledging experience which I have another month of before I’m a full on memeber but it’ll be worth it in the end. It isn’t just about the social aspect either, we do charity work and you have to maintain a certain GPA to stay in the sorority so we have study hours as well.
      Unfortunately at my campus there aren’t sorority houses – apparently they had some problems in the past and closed them all down.
      Having said all of that I’ve heard that Greek Life is different in state schools, apparently the hazing is pretty bad and some of them don’t have good reputations so I think I got pretty lucky with American University!

      February 14, 2011 at 3:18 pm

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