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 First Things First  

Submitted by Maximilian Mitschke on Mon, 01/29/2018 - 03:05

About two weeks ago, my study-abroad adventure @Hobart and William Smith Colleges, located in Geneva, NY, took off. Geneva is located at the deepest of the Finger Lakes, the Seneca Lake.  My journey was off to a rocky start. After spending some time in NYC beforehand, we wanted to take a Greyhound bus to Geneva. Since our bus from NYC was delayed, we missed our connecting bus in Binghamton. We, my companions an I, were left with a decision: wait 5 hours for the next bus to Geneva, or take an uber. We decided in favor of the latter. After arriving in Downtown Geneva, the College arranged a pickup for us, very kind. 

Washington Square Park, NYC

The first days were rather laid back, after the orientation program on Monday,  all classes started off on Tuesday with introductory sessions, but I soon got a sense of what would be expected from me during the semester: loads of readings, homework, assignments, and most frightening for a student from a German university: attendance and participation. The first week, and weekend, went by fairly fast. On Saturday I attended my first frat-party, which was exactly how I expected it to be, but it still was an quite impressive experience to make, in some kind of way.


HWS Campus & Seneca Lake


Two weeks went by since my arrival and I've already established a kind of routine, which is centered around lectures and extensive reading sessions in the library, which unfortunately is not opened 24/7. Life here, so far, is by no means comparable to life in Leipzig. Almost eveybody lives on campus here, it really is kind of a seperate community, inside the community of Geneva. One basically would not have to leave campus. There's a gym, among diverse recreational athletic facilities, a variety of dining places, a pub, you can even buy some groceries at the College Store. 

I'm living in the Village at Odell's Pond, which consists of about 50 housing units with up to 4 students living in each of them. It's about a 10 minute walk away from the lecture halls, a distance many here deem distant enough to ride their car to campus. My roommates, and me, are never around, so I did not get to know them very well so far. With one of them I haven't even talked yet, I think. There's about 10 international exchange students, 4 of them I spend lots of time with, 2 of them from England and 2 from Germany. I've also already met a ton of people here, which is sometimes difficult for someone who's bad with names (me). Sometimes I even don't know, if I already met and talked to someone or if I just see them very often, sometimes leading to awkward situations. Let's see how this develops. 

I’m now all set for and looking forward to the coming weeks and months, especially once the weather improves, around April as I was told. The low point, temperature- and mood-wise, was a chilly Monday morning with temperatures as low as -19ºC.

For my next entry I will hopefully find out how to crop pictures, sorry about that.




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