To begin with, people in Iowa are friendly and kind, so during my stay I got so much help from them. Like Korea, I think people in the countryside are friendlier and more open to outsiders. People in Iowa were more than willing to help foreigners. Also, it was unlikely to see racial discrimination towards Asians. Especially on ISU campus, there were many Chinese people along with Koreans and Indians.
However, Asian people were not a majority at ISU. There are many people from all the continents that we can imagine. So it was easy to be friends with people from different countries all over the world and learn about their cultures. As an exchange student, I had more chances to meet other exchange students than full-time American students at ISU. So I had many friends from Mexico, Australia, England, Singapore and China. I also made a good friend with a girl from Norway whom I still keep in touch with. Experiencing different cultures through them was the most valuable thing I got.
Also, the service ISU provided for exchange students was pretty good. Even though there was no club made just for helping exchange students like PEACE Buddy club at Ewha, Study Abroad Center at the school arranged many activities for exchange students to join, for example, trips to Chicago, Mall of America, and even a farm trip. Moreover they tried to arrange meetings where exchange students and American students can share each other’s cultures and practice and help with English. These meetings were still on trials so they were not that well organized but still, I could notice the Study Abroad Center tried a lot to help foreign students on campus. Thanks to the characteristics of the state and the school, I could spend my semester with so much excitement and joy. The memories of ISU will be unforgettable.
* Chung Hyun-jung (’10, English) studied at Iowa State University in the United States of America.
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