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North Carolina, Charlotte exchange

The last four months have been the best of my life. I don’t know how I can possibly convey through words the excitement, joy and phenomenal experiences that I have undergone throughout these past few months.

Before leaving I wasn’t quite sure what to expect at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. However, after living here for a few months, I can honestly say I am having the time of my life. I am having the full authentic American college experience. We all went to a Spring football game on the weekend, which was awesome!

I have made friends with both American and international students, which has allowed me to experience the best of both worlds. I have met students from all over the world, from Manchester, France, Turkey and Spain, and these are just a few amongst many places that the students come from. I have become extremely close with the international group over the semester. We are like a family and I am dreading leaving them!

I love living on campus. It is an extremely different lifestyle to UTS. I love knowing that the majority of my friends are always around and that I can call them up at any point and hang out with them. College nights are Wednesday and Thursday, and they are awesome fun. Unfortunately if you are under 21 you can’t drink, but it is still fun if you like the clubbing scene.

Everything is so new and exciting here! Even going to the grocery store is an adventure! The variety here is out of control! Even buying the most basic foods such as bread is exciting because you can choose from about 10 different types.

Of course they also have fraternities and sororities here which is also a fun experience. I have befriended some people in both of those societies and have attended their parties – which is again something you can’t do at home. The way that the frats and sororities dress is super interesting – I love just observing their clothes. The boys have to maintain a well-polished look whilst the girls are a bit more country with their tight pants and country boots.

Whilst being on exchange I have learned a lot about myself and others, and I feel as though I have grown and will continue to grow as an individual. Without all the responsibilities at home including balancing study and work, exchange allows you to relax and take time for yourself (amongst studying), make new friends, grow as a person and just experience things you wouldn’t ordinarily at home. It forces you to escape your comfort zone and for me, exchange has been the best thing I have ever done!

Just a quick heads up! If you are thinking about going on exchange to Charlotte, be prepared for extreme weather! When I first got here I was wearing 5 tops because I was so cold. It averaged around 1 degree celsius, and was often below that. Recently, we have had days where it has been in the 20’s, and today was 15, so be prepared for bipolar weather!


Juliet Shakinovsky


Global Exchange, US

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