Posts Tagged ‘college life’

Study Abroad? Some Quick Hints

Author: Uncool Parent Posted: January 5th, 2017

Well, the time has arrived when my son is leaving for his semester abroad. I am excited for him. When you’re young, you should do it. Get out of your comfort zone and meet new people, embrace new cultures and learn about the world outside of home and college. But, it is very scary out there these days – advise your college kid to be safe and exercise caution in every foreign country.

Here are a few things I can share:

1) Make copies of passport/visa. Two copies stay with parents, two copies with your kid. You could also email a scanned copy to your kid.

2) Research conversion costs prior to arrival.

3) Provide US Embassy phone number/emergency number and their equivalent 911 – this is good for parents too! 

4) Call your cell phone provider but recommend purchasing an international phone to use abroad.

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College Orientation: Mattie’s Experience

Author: Mattie Posted: September 16th, 2012

Mattie tells us about Orientation Week:

I’ll admit it: I can be a little awkward around new people. Especially in the contexts we’re offered by orientation week. The “Discover McGill” tours, for example. Each faculty – That’s what we call the various schools up here; I’m in the Faculty of Arts, for example – was to gather at 9 AM today for a tour of their buildings. My faculty is the largest, so when I approached the crowd that oozed off the steps of the Arts building, confusion was a given. Chaos. Absolute anarchy, my friends. I had to talk to three different people before learning the method to the madness. Each upperclassmen tour guide had a sign for their group, numbered one to 50. Problem. Nobody had given me a group number. I set off in search of one.

I never did find that number, but that’s not important. What does matter is that eventually I found myself standing with two other kids who were only marginally less confused than myself. They’d been assigned to Group 51, which evidently didn’t exist. Or maybe it was convening on the other side of the vast sea of kids, in which case it might as well not exist. We talked, we made a token attempt to find the person in charge of the Arts circus (“Look for someone with a clipboard and pants that aren’t jeans.”), and then finally decided to conduct our own tour.
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At College. Finally!

Author: Mattie Posted: September 9th, 2012

Our first post from our new student contributor, Mattie:

Hey Old People,

This was probably the first time in my life that I wished I could skip summer vacation and start my next year of school immediately. Waiting for the fall semester was a special kind of torture – too much time for me to cycle between crazy over-confidence and wild insecurity about my social and academic abilities. Seriously, three weeks to shop, pack, and say goodbye to friends and family, and I’d be good. But alas, I can’t control the calendar.

During that waiting period I found about four million things to worry about: Will the other kids like me? Will the classes be too hard? Will I get lost on campus? Will the other kids like me? Will I gain the infamous Freshman Fifteen? Will my professors treat me like a human being? Will the other kids like me? To be honest, some of this might just be me embracing the “neurotic New Yorker” stereotype so I have something to remind me of home while I’m living as an ex-pat.
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