Navigating U.S. university life as an international student from Jönköping brings surprising differences and cultural adjustments. EDIT Guest Writer Ebba reflects on the semester so far!
Being an international student at a University in the United States is quite different from back home in Jönköping. All classes are taken at the same time over the course of 16 weeks, which means that the semester ends at the beginning of December.
It is week 7 of classes when I am writing this (Oct 2-8), and time has gone by so fast. I cannot believe that I am almost halfway into classes already, I truly was in shock when I realized that there were only 9 weeks left. I’ve only done two exams and a few reflection assignments so far, which feels like no work at all. But I guess it’s like the saying “Time flies when you’re having fun”, and let me tell you, it does.
The coursework is so much easier, but you get more than just one homework per week. Essentially since I’m taking 5 different art classes, I do have some type of homework each week, but they can all be done in just a day or two. I haven’t gotten many assignments, but the ones I have written are very easy to write, and the same with the reading. There’s no limit of words or specification of how many pages to write. However, just like at JU, we have multiple exams roughly every 3 or 4 weeks depending on the class, therefore I study a lot by reading the course material and doing reading quizzes, which are like practice tests before with questions similar to the ones on the actual exam. But all exams are taken online on Canvas, which I am not used to. Going to JU, I remember doing way more coursework than now, which is definitely one of the biggest cultural adjustments I’ve had to make.
Is it as expensive to live in the States as you think it is? Yes, and no. Because I live on campus, I’ve only had to pay one set summary for my dorm (this also depends on where on campus you choose to live, the bigger the dorm, the higher the cost). I paid a fee of $80 USD (roughly 890 SEK) for one semester and that includes everything you need in a shared apartment.
Guest Writer: Ebba Östman