Living Big in Small Town Indiana

Eliza P., Bachelor of Business/Laws
Purdue University, USA (Semester 2, 2018)

If you’re reading this blog post then you have probably already heard it before, but taking a semester abroad is one of the best decisions you will ever make. No matter where you decide to go, you are giving yourself not only an amazing opportunity to learn about another culture, but to learn things about yourself that are sometimes only discoverable away from home.

Purdue University was my first choice for my exchange program. It’s a big, small town college with a lot of heart in West Lafayette, Indiana. Going to college in Midwest America is definitely an authentic experience. I lived in a two person shared dormitory room with a German exchange student, which cost me about $4,500 USD (including meals). Living in the dorms was very convenient because they’re on campus where classes, the dining courts and the gym are. Although, most American college students will leave dormitory living in their sophomore (second) year to live in a house with friends or their fraternity or sorority houses. So if you are a bit older, this is something to keep in mind when organising living arrangements.

Boiler up!

Surprisingly, I loved college for how it required frequent attendance. For each subject, I had class three times a week for 1.5 hours and I only had three absences before my grades would be penalised for nonattendance. In the beginning, it was difficult to adapt because this was so different to back home. However, I found that through this I was able to immerse myself in college life, make friends in class and truly invest in the content – so it was really rewarding!

In terms of culture, Americans and Australians are very similar, so myself and my other Australian friends found it really easy to meet people and make friends. The pace of life at Purdue and other big colleges in small towns is completely different to the pace back here at QUT, where the average university student will work part-time while studying. With a lot of free time, college students love to hang out and do nothing (or study) together, so I rarely spent a moment alone.

Making memories with new friends

Purdue will always be a home away from home for me, and while it tended to be quieter than some typical American colleges during the semester, that quieter time meant I had to time to make and spend with friends who will last a lifetime. You will not regret taking a semester abroad, and there’s really never another opportunity than during your university years, so just do it! And BOILER UP!

Get out of your Comfort Zone at Purdue

Wyatt W., Bachelor of Business
University of Purdue, USA (Semester 2, 2018)

I had the pleasure of attending Purdue University, a 50,000 student college in America’s Midwest, Indiana. After spending four months diving head first into the Purdue experience, I walk away from the experience with a grin on my face, knowing I had the time of my life.

Purdue is centered around a quiet farming town called West Lafayette. While there’s not a whole bunch to do in the city area, you learn to enjoy all the excitement the campus has to offer.

Purdue is a big 10 school, meaning the football games are a huge deal. We got to enjoy a few games in Purdue’s Ross Aid Stadium. A definite highlight was when Purdue beat Ohio State, ranked 3rd in America, which resulted in all the students storming the field.

The best part about exchange was making new friends. I decided to join the Purdue Water Polo team. I was instantly welcomed into a large community and made a few friends for life. We got to travel around the Midwest playing the other big 10 college teams.

Exchange is what you make of it. It’s about getting out of your comfort zone, speaking to everyone, saying yes to mostly everything and taking everything in as it happens. It happens in a blink of an eye and when you leave you can’t help but shed a tear. My college experience will be something I look back on for the rest of my life.

Highlights from my exchange