Semester Two at SUNY Albany

I cant believe that I’m already half-way through the second semester of my time here in America. This year certainly flies by. I was warned by the students here that the second semester passes quicker than the first, and they have been true to their word.

So Im doing the five mandatory courses for the credits to qualify at Glasgow; I cant stress enough how important it is to check with the Glasgow advisors that your courses are good enough. Im already doing the mid-term exams, even though I feel like I’ve only just started back at university.

One thing about SUNY Albany is that it is very easy to get involved with extracurricular activites. This semester, Im doing knitting club, dance council and the Project Inspire Fashion Show. The fashion shows are the ‘big deal’ events of the semester so its great to be a part of it. The fashion show is in April and the dance show is in May, just before the final exams.

After the mid-term exams, its time to enjoy Spring Break (typically known as Easter Holidays in the United Kingdom). SUNY Albany normally celebrates Spring Break a few weeks after most other American universities. It lasts just over a week and I am lucky enough to be spending it in Miami! I’m so excited!

The ISSS office (thats that international student help office) is very accommodating. They send out emails every week with things to do and helpful advice. They also arrange nice days out, including to the local ice rink (which is a lot of fun) and snow tubing on some local hills.

As many will be aware, there is a huge Irish population in New York and in light of this, St Patrick’s Day is a massive affair. There is a local Albany celebration known as ‘Keggs n Eggs’. This entails waking up at 4am (this is mandatory) and drinking and then having breakfast (eggs, obviously) and then drinking and then finding a frat party and then drinking; basically its a day to drink beer from 4am until you pass out. And for the more cultured of you, there is also a parade downtown by the Capitol Building in the early afternoon. This year, the weather wasnt that great but that didnt prevent the Irish dancers and the fire trucks and the Irish societies from marching down teh streets.

Continuing the culture theme, there is such a thing known as First Friday in Albany. Its the first Friday of every month and it means that the shops stay open later than usual and the art galleries are free and offer free glasses of wine and food. Its a nice idea and rather popular.

I’m looking forward to making the most of my time here as I only have a few months left. The semester finishes in early May and thats also when the Visa is up, however there is a grace period of 60 days for you to enjoy travelling around a bit. Who knows what I’ll do with my time!

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