By Becky L, University of Missouri-Columbia, United States of America
With the first week of classes coming to an end, I decided now would be a good time to introduce myself and my Study Abroad University! My name is Becky and I’m a second year Biomedical Sciences student, studying for the semester at the University of Missouri – Columbia. Initially I was apprehensive about spending 5 months in the Midwest, but I’ve acclimatised very quickly, mainly thanks to the amazing friends that I have met!
Columbia downtown is a mix of eclectic boutiques, restaurants, cafes, bars and clubs and even has a karaoke bar which is great fun! It is small but its range in shops makes it the perfect student downtown. It is walking distance from campus and the dorms and there is some off campus housing that is in downtown. It is usually relatively busy during the day but gets more lively in the evenings when students go out.
However for one long weekend in early March, downtown becomes bustling and busy with thousands of people coming to Columbia for the True/False Film Fest. The Fest shows non-fiction films, with musicians performing before the showings. The whole of Columbia comes alive for this weekend and Columbia was even listed as one of the best 50 cities in the U.S to visit because of this festival. People get really into the festival and walk around in homemade costumes all weekend. There is also a parade/walk where everyone is invited to join in and people were encouraged to dress up in brightly coloured clothes and there were some crazy costumes.
“Why Mizzou?” “How did you end up in Missouri?!?” I get these questions all the time. It seems that my fellow Mizzou students are astounded that I could have possibly chosen to come to Missouri, but I love it here and wouldn’t be anywhere else.
Deciding where to study abroad is a big deal, you are committing to living somewhere for a year and it was not a decision that I was going to take lightly. I did my research looking at the various universities, looking up the courses that I could take and basically seeing if it would be a good fit for me.
I knew that I was looking for a campus that had a lot of school spirt and Mizzou for sure has that! In the fall, almost every weekend is centred around American Football. The whole campus turns into a sea of black and gold and people set up tailgates wherever there is space. At tailgates Mizzou Alumni and student organisations will usually have a barbeque, music and outdoor games, it’s a way that people get hyped up before the game and is altogether an amazing experience.