I'm back, and this time with a huge update: from the first week of January until the last week of May I will be studying a semester abroad at the Appalachian State University in Boone, NC which is located in the United States.
This means that I am already here for a little more than a month so I will talk a little bit about how my experience has been so far and about my impressions about this place (together with the accompanying pictures of course).
The few days right before I left Belgium, I couldn't grasp the idea that I was about to leave my small hometown for a solid 5 months, the longest I will ever have been away from home. After saying goodbye to my friends the day before my departure and my parents at 04:00 in the morning I was finally on my way to a new adventure.
A few hours later when I boarded my plane we were first heading to the Heathrow Airport in London, UK. Once I arrived in London I had to wait until 13:45 in order to board the plane that was heading to the airport in Charlotte, NC.
Then I finally got on my last plane and had to wait 9-10 hours until the airplane arrived in Charlotte.
Luckily we had these small screens in our seats that had a large catalog of movies, music and some games to keep us entertained during the flight. The only downside was that this system had a terrible resistive touchscreen, meaning that you had to press really hard in order to interact with the interface and most of times you had to press several times before the screen registered your input.
Not to mention the fact that all the buttons in the interface were positioned very close to each other resulting in a lot of frustration because you could easily select the wrong item and then had to try to get back to the previous screen.
Eventually I arrived in Charlotte at 17:30 (Local Time) while it already was 23:30 in Belgium. I was greeted at the gates by a couple of students of the Appalachian State University who guided all the new international students to a hotel for one night so that we all could be driven to Boone the next morning.
The first week that followed afterwards was a busy week filled with orientation activities and presentations to get to know the school and the campus better.
Below are some pictures I took the first few weeks:
The Appalachian State University is located in a beautiful place: as you may have guessed it, the school is positioned near the Appalachian Trail in the mountains. So whether it is sunny or snowing, the scenery is always different and beautiful in this place.
On the campus there are these two tunnels connecting two parts of the campus that are called "expression tunnels" if I recall correctly, where students are free to draw graffiti.
I think this picture shows the best how high in the mountains our school is located.
The other side of one of the expression tunnels.
Around the last week of january there was a gigantic snowstorm that even made the news in Belgium. Unfortunately I wasn't able to take a lot of pictures then because it was too cold outside, but I managed to take a few shots the first few hours when it started snowing.
And this building you see right above here is the dormitory where I live, the Living Learning Center. It's a pretty nice place to live (and it's also apparently one of the few dormitories that has a printer in their computer room, which is a big plus). The only downside of living in the LLC is that it is a fifteen minute walk away from the campus and in order to get back you need to do a lot of stairs, which is not really fun when you're returning from the library at 2 o'clock in the morning.
This picture was taken on probably one of the most coldest days here yet when it was -18°C.
And that's all folks, I'll post some new updates, photo journals or projects somewhere during the next few weeks or months (depending on how much schoolwork I have).
Thank you for reading!