My first term at the Union Graduate College in Schenectady, NY

At September 4th I started my journey to the Union Graduate College (UGC), which is located in the town of Schenectady in the state New York. After stopover in Chicago, I finally landed in Albany, the capital city of the state New York, and an official of the UGC picked Andreas, a German fellow student, and me up and drove us to our apartments in Schenectady. When we entered our apartments, we were surprised since the UGC prepared a welcome package for us including food, pillows, blankets, towels and all the stuff you need during the first days. In the following days, we managed to organize all the important things like opening a bank account, buying an American SIM card and registering our car with the help of our student resident advisor Isaiah. Before our classes begun, the UGC welcomed all the new students during a welcome barbeque, where we met other international and American fellow students. I can highly recommend the barbeque for future German exchange students. On the one hand, you get to know to the very friendly and helpful staff of the UGC. On the other hand, it is a perfect opportunity to meet other students. We got to know two French exchange students and a Belgian exchange student, who became good friends of us. By the end of the first term, we had the pleasure to travel with them to Toronto, the Niagara Falls, New York City, Boston, Washington, Philadelphia and Atlantic City. Apart from this, the UGC offers a very pleasant and friendly study atmosphere and exactly that what I expected from an American university: Small classes, practically oriented teaching as a complement to the theoretical German studies and direct contact to the professors. One of my best experiences during my stay so far was definitely the thanksgiving dinner in my American host family. Apart from the delicious food, I had the pleasure to experience a real American tradition. We spent the entire day at the family`s house and played pool billiard together or watched the traditional big football games. The family and I are still in contact and we will meet soon in January.

All in all, one can say that I am totally happy with my university and my current life in the United States. I am very thankful that the Federation of German-American Clubs e.V. enabled me to study at the UGC and to experience this important step during my academic education. I am looking forward to studying two more terms at the UGC in Schenectady.

Florian studierte am Union College in Schenectad, NY