Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Nils, and I am a first year economics and Spanish double major from Bremerhaven, Germany. I am part of several clubs, our student government, and I am a tour guide for our Admissions Ambassadors team. On tours, I often get asked why I decided to come to St. Lawrence, and how someone from Germany would end up at a campus in the North Country. The answer that I give is always the same: it is the friendliness and the welcoming attitude of the people here that made me come.
From the first day, I started off with a great group of friends during the International Orientation Week that St. Lawrence puts together every year to give us a fair start into the admittedly very different college life. Since then, the international students as well as the domestic students have become my family away from home. We have a strong sense of community here at St. Lawrence, and everyone greets you as you walk by and asks you how your day is going. In a sense, it is a very different feeling from the German universities I was used to seeing, where everyone remains anonymous and you don’t even know the names of the people in your course.
Every Wednesday, the International Theme House here on campus (we call it I-House for short) hosts a social event called Tea Time, in which everyone interested in different cultures can come and enjoy tea. It is, in many ways, my favorite time of the week, because it allows us all to de-stress a little bit and appreciate the amazing friendships we get to make here during our four years at SLU. If you come to SLU, you will get exposed to many different opportunities to experience amazing cultures from around the world, and it has really helped me broaden my horizons.
One of these opportunities happened in early April during Kaleidoscope, an annual event featuring many cultural performances. In one night, I got to play a role in a fake Mexican soap opera, saw a girl play a Chinese traditional instrument and saw someone play the oud, a traditional instrument from the Arab world. St. Lawrence offers so much cultural diversity and it has been one of the most rewarding experiences to explore it. In addition to all the opportunities on campus, SLU also offers various study abroad programs in 19 countries, and over 50 percent of our students study abroad at least once during their time here.
St. Lawrence has been an amazing experience so far, and 20 years from now, it will still be that special place that I once used to call “home."