Marijke Sterkens: North Carolina through VeCo – ISEP Program

My exchange to the University of North Carolina in Greensboro was… well, nothing you can put in one word. In general I had a genuine positive experience! I’ve met the most extraordinary people with whom I saw great places, and I am sure at least some of those people will remain friends for life. We visited several cities, hiked, shopped, partied, worked out, ate, and everything else I forget to mention. Basically, I had lots of fun with those people from all over the world: Europeans, Asians, Africans, and of course Americans.

Academically it was a great experience to learn how people study in another country. For example the concept “homework”: a long forgotten memory of high school in Belgium, but a big colorful mark in my US agenda every week. Or the different way American students act compared to Belgians: I hope it will not become custom here to wear your pajama pants to class.

I don’t think my experience would’ve been as great, especially in the beginning, without the aid of the ISEP coordinators, both at the home as at the host university. They did everything to make the process of applying and other formalities easier and much more pleasant. And once arrived, it is nice to know some activities are laid out for you in the first week to let you meet all exchange students. And even though some things are sometimes not that clear, it’s comforting to know you can always ask those two ISEP coordinators for help.

So conclusion of the whole experience, the answer on the question whether it was worth it: DEFINITELY YES! I would do it again without giving it a second thought!

Marijke Sterkens