By Bence Janek
After I spent five semesters at the McDaniel College Budapest, campus I decided to fulfill my sixth semester at the main campus in Westminster, Maryland. I committed myself to this change with a goal of improving my English skills as much as possible.
However, to comply with my purpose, I had to adapt to many new circumstances. First, I had to move into a dorm where I had to share a room with another person and a dorm bathroom with about eighteen other male students on the floor. I had to make an effort to find new friends and a group where I could best fit in (of course I found my company among the strong and handsome athletes).
During the first week I had many stereotypes about college life in the States proves themselves true.. I found the dorm a bit dirty and full of a couple of arrogant people. , However, my opinion changed very soon, or maybe I just learned to adapt to the new lifestyle of living on campus.
I was able to easily find my group of friends, not just because I know many American students that have studied abroad in Budapest, but also because American students are very helpful and have a real interest in trying to get to know me..They are always eager to know more about a foreign student and I enjoy telling them about Budapest and all of my travel experiences.
When my laptop got ruined after a disastrous accident, it did not take more than a few days to find a student on the campus who could save my data from the old hard drive and move it to my new laptop. This is a perfect example of how helpful the students here have been with me and are always willing to help each other. There is a strong sense of community in this college and once you have found people whom you share similar interest with they become your family and sooner or later this place becomes your home.
After being in the small college building in Budapest, I found the McDaniel Maryland campus absolutely huge. With dozens of buildings including a fully equipped gym, dining halls, bookstore, swimming pool, basketball arena, and not to mention the huge golf court that can be found on the western part of the school, this place was nothing like the campus in Budapest. Long story short, it took a long time for me to learn where my classes were; I might have gotten lost a couple of times.
However, as I know from other students, the Maryland Campus is by far not among the largest colleges in the United States. There are schools that triple the size of the McDaniel College in Westminster. I couldn’t imagine going to class on a campus that big, I’d most likely need a map to get to class.
After I learned the location of my classrooms, another difficulty occurred; the fast tempo of classes. I had to do homework for each class (writing journals, discussion questions or other exercises), the quizzes and exams are regular and I had to write many term papers. But the library is the go to place on this campus for completing assignments. It is the perfect spot for students to drown themselves in their work in a place where it is quiet and free of distractions. The fast pace of assignments, papers, and preparing for tests is nothing like the campus in Budapest. Coffee or anything that helps you stay awake eventually should become your best friend on any campus in the States.
It is true that without car you cannot go far from Westminster. There is a bus service that can take you to the nearest metro station but it is only running on Fridays and on the weekends. So Westminster is definitely not city like. But there are shopping centers very close and great places to go eat. However I sometimes feel like this city is far from any type of civilization and as a foreigner, It feels like I am trapped in a luxurious prison from which there is no escape.
All in all, I have a positive opinion about the school and about the time I have spent here. I’ve decided that I’m going to spend my Fall Semester here as well.