The differences between a Chinese university and an American university: My 1st few days at Ohio State

Today is the 30th day since I arrived in Columbus. After waiting for about a month, my first class began 3 days ago. In short, OSU is beyond my imagination even though I have properly prepared myself for a brand new environment. Here are some of the shocks:

1. You need to be in good shape if you want to walk around the entire OSU campus! In fact, according to my experience from the campus walk during orientation, merely circling the main campus, takes at least an hour. The campus here is very big. One thing that really intrigued me is that on the outskirt of campus there is a pasture that includes barns for raising horses, cattle, etc.. When I passed it, I was thinking, ah, it must be an authentic American farm 🙂 Luckily, we have CABS and COTA, so a trip around campus is possible much more easily and quickly than walking!

2. Classes are really interactive. I am still not used to asking questions so freely. In the past, taking notes are deemed the second most important part of class (other than focusing on the context). Every time I want to say something, I feel like struggling against my shyness. Here, the short but really important question – any question – will always be followed by a lot of other questions. Class participation makes up at least 10 percent of class scores, especially at Fisher.

3. People are close and accessible. Professors, staffs and students mix in all kinds of activities. I cannot believe that I met the President of OSU, E. Gordon Gee before class begins. I just walked up and said hello and asked him for permission to take a photo together. On the contrary, the only time I stand close to the President of my undergraduate school was during graduation. I was just one of eight percent lucky students to be presented diplomas by my undergrad university’s president.

4. Plagiarism is taken very seriously here. During orientation, we spent more than 2 hours on plagiarism. The school also created a well-designed document to accentuate the influences and consequences of plagiarism. Although I have taken it seriously in the past, I have never taken plagiarism so seriously in last 4 years. It will definitely be one of the things I pay attention to in the upcoming year!



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