My semester at North Carolina State University started in a whirlwind of exploring the huge campus, class preparation and sorting myself out for the semester ahead.

NCSU is the epitome of the American college: expansive dining halls, dorm rooms, hundreds of facilities and a culture absorbed in sporting pride. I have been to 3 football games and seen the crazed fans fill the stadium, the band piping up for every touch-down and the cheerleaders and dancers moving just as much as the players. Opportunities to play sports are also wide and varied, with intra-mural teams free to join. Want to play Quidditch? There is also a team for that and just about every imaginable sport. I play in a volleyball and soccer team, just for fun, and along with the huge gym and all its facilities, staying fit is not a problem. The campus cinema is another great way to entertain yourself, with movies priced at $1.50 and only a minute’s walk away.

Staying in an International dorm makes this experience all the more rewarding as I have made friends with Americans and people from all over the world. It can be a bit squishy, but your friends are only a walk to the next floor! Of course, you can’t come to America without laying praise on the food and cheap prices! Yes, fast-food is prevalent and definitely the cheapest method of eating out. You can afford to go crazy shopping because prices of a lot of items are half of what we would pay back in Oz, be it food, travel or clothing. I went to Orlando for Fall Break on a tight budget and had no problem sticking to it! (Well, Harry Potter World did have a bit of splurging involved…). Seeing a few of the Disney Worlds was amazing, like living out a childhood dream and one of my most valued experiences to date.

Night life in Raleigh makes every weekend an event, with nearly all clubs 18+ for those who can’t yet drink… sigh. Being knee-deep in homework and assessment is tough when all I want to do is have fun, but school is not too hard and keeping up with work takes only a little bit of concentration. Sometimes a big ask when living with a bunch of other international students!

Until more happens here in Raleigh, I’d best be off to get on with life in the States!