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Old 03-18-2007, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Donostia (Basque Country)
13 posts, read 36,594 times
Reputation: 17

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Hello everybody! It’s been long since I wrote my last message on the forum (I think it was 3 months ago). Well, let me say that it wasn’t due to a lack of interest but because I was waiting to the appropriate moment, and it has already arrived. We had the final meeting to choose our destination for next academic years second semester this Wednesday, and everything went perfect. I had really clear where I wanted to go, I asked if the place for Truman State was still eligible, they told me that it was and I picked it. So if nothing strange happens from now on, I will be at Kirksville by the beginning of January 2008. It’s quite complicated for me to express how happy I am because my first option will come true, but believe me when I say that last Wednesday was a great day for me. I’m sure I’m going to live a very good experience both at Truman State and Kirksville.

After this little introduction, I wouldn’t like to forget to thank to all the forum members who have helped me with their replies. All of them have been a great help. So thank you Sunshine, noteach, EllieMom, ETII, Ozarks21, socal12, Cyndler, Talmasca, RCL and Gregory for your help. I’m very grateful.

So now that I know that I’m going to be there on the next year, there are 2 questions that worry me more and I would like to ask you for advice.

My main concern is about where to stay during the months that I’ll spend in Kirksville. I see 3 different options, but I have totally ruled out one. I have ruled out renting a flat only for me (without any flatmate), because my main reason to choose Truman State was staying in a city where I would have to speak all the day in English, and if I’m in a flat on my own, I won’t have the opportunity to speak with anybody. So ruled out this, the only options are renting a room in a flat where there are more Truman State’s students, or staying at one of the university’s residences.

I have seen on Truman’s WebPage that they recommend to the international students staying at one of the university’s residences. I see both advantages and disadvantages to this option. The main advantage that I see is that it should be easier making friends staying at a residence. This is a very important point, because as a foreign student, that is one of your may concerns, if you will fit well there and you will be able to make friends easily or not (I have heard totally conflicting versions about the ease to make friends at the USA. Some have told me that they’re very open people and on the contrary, others have told me that they are very shy and that it’s complicated to make friends there. I suppose that neither will have the truth and that like in any other country, there will be open and shy people, so it’ll depend more on me and my attitude if I make friends easily or not). So this is a very strong point to choose this option.

But I see some disadvantages too, and I think they are also important. The main one is that I’ll be almost 27 years old by the time I get to Kirksville and according to my university experience, only freshman and sophomore students stay at a residence (so we are talking about 18 to 20 years old students). In my country, the Basque Country, and in Spain (the country where I studied my first degree) all the first year students live in residences with the only aim of meeting people and make friends. Once they have made friends on that first year, on the next year they rent flats with their friends. I don’t know if that is the case of Truman, but if also works that way, I’m worried if I wouldn’t fit well with students that are younger than me.

Another disadvantage would be “the lack of freedom” when you live in a residence. May be I haven’t chosen a very appropriate expression, but what I wanted to reflect was that while you can do whatever you want in your flat (there are no time limits, you have your own room with no roommate, you can bring any friend at any time if you don’t bother the rest of the flatmates ... ) there are many restrictions in a residence.

The second option, renting a room in a flat with other Truman students, has its good and bad aspects, too. I have mentioned its main advantage before, the freedom that you have in your own house. But I see a very important disadvantage to this option. That there’s the risk to know only your flatmates and that you don’t make many friends. There’s also another aspect that worries me, and that’s that I think it would be complicated finding a flat with Truman students that have a free room in the middle of the academic year in January and that would be willing to take a foreign student with them.

These are some of my thoughts about that aspect, and I haven’t taken a decision yet. So as some of you have been Truman students or you have been in contact with Truman’s reality, I would be very grateful if you could give me your opinions about it. Thank you in advance.

Apart from the place to live in Kirksville, there’s another important subject for me, and that’s sport. I like practising sports a lot (before the Business Administration degree that I’m currently studying, I studied the degree of Sciences of Physical Activity and Sport on its sport companies management branch) and I would like to know what are the options to practise sport at Kirksville. Here at Donostia, I go jogging everyday from Monday to Friday and on the weekends I play soccer on a team with my friends (I also play “pala”, but it’s a sport that I’m afraid it’s only played in my country, so I’m not going to ask about it ).

I have made an idea about how Kirksville is thanks to Google Earth, and I think that there’s no problem to go jogging there. But I’ve seen that during January and February it snows a lot in Kirksville (may be it snows in March too, but I have checked the university’s webcam several times, and it seems that those are the months where snow affects more) and my question is if during that months it is possible to go jogging on the streets (may be they clean them during the day and in midday streets are ok to go jogging as sun melts snow) and in case it isn’t, if there’s an indoor facility where you can go jogging.

About soccer, I don’t know how sport leagues work in the USA. The image that we have about university teams there (taken from USA films ) is that they are similar to professional teams and that it is very difficult to make into the team. That not all the students have the opportunity to play in the university’s team. So my question is if you know if I could play or just train with the university’s soccer team (I’m not a good soccer player, but I enjoy a lot playing it, so it would be great to have the opportunity to play soccer there). I have seen that you have Intramural sports, too, but they only last 1 or 2 season games, so that’s not what I’m looking for, because I’m going to be there until June, so 1 or 2 games seem very little.

Here, apart from the university, there are many football teams in each city and town, and I don’t know if there are soccer teams in Kirksville or not. I know that soccer isn’t a very popular sport in the USA, so may be my questions are kind of stupid, but I would like to know how the situation of soccer is there, so I can see if it’s possible or not for me to play soccer there (if not, there’s not any problem, because despite soccer is my favourite sport, I like practising sport in general, so any sport that involves movement works for me).

Well, I’m afraid I’ve written too much, and more if we consider that I only wanted to ask for your advice about only two subjects, acommodation and sport, so I’m going to finish now (I hope it wasn’t too boring).

Thank you again to everybody, excuse me for all the grammar mistakes I’m sure I’ve done (I did my best, but my English level is not very good, although I expect to improve it considerably during my stay in Kirksville) and as I said in my last post, if you know anyone who is considering the option of studying in the Basque Country give them my e-mail address (basque_boy23@hotmail.com) and I’ll try to help them and give all the information that I can.

I’m thrilled with the idea of going there.

Looking forward to hearing from you,
Jon.
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Old 03-19-2007, 08:43 AM
 
Location: SW MO
339 posts, read 1,318,930 times
Reputation: 142
I'm glad you're coming to Missouri. Your written english is better than many Americans, so stop apologizing. Except, there is one thing; "flat" is a British expression. In Missouri (and most of the US that I'm aware) we use the term "apartment" or rental house if it's a single family home. I think most folks would know what a flat is, it just sounds unfamiliar here.

You should try to find private housing. The residence halls are fine for 18-20 year olds, but I don't think it would suit you well (unless they could offer you graduate student housing).

The biggest problem you will have is you will be gambling on your roomates if you just start searching the "roomate wanted" ads. Who knows what kind of roomate you will end up with. It's a chance I would take if I were you.

There are plenty of opportunities for sports. I'm sure they have an indoor jogging track. If you are good at soccer, you could probably make the team. If not, you might try football (americana). Many European soccer players make excellent kickers on the football field. Plus, you get the experience of a new sport. I know you'll find plenty of outlets for athletic competition.

Let me know if you want to try out some fishing or hunting. I have a friend with land about 1 hour south of Kirksville. It has a lake and plenty of room for shooting sports.
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Old 03-19-2007, 11:41 AM
 
Location: Donostia (Basque Country)
13 posts, read 36,594 times
Reputation: 17
Good afternoon Ozarks 21 and thank you for your quick reply. About the using of the word "flat", let me say that it is because here, in the Basque Country, the great majority of English teachers are from Britain, so that's the English that we learn .

I'll take your advice about acommodation into consideration.

Regarding sports, I am open to practice anyone, and as you well said, practicing a new sport could be an enriching experience (although soccer is my favourite sport, I like sport in general).

Thank you also for offering me the opportunity to go fishing or hunting. It is very kind of you.

As I've said before, I'm really impressed with the kindness I'm founding in the forum.

Yours faithfully,
Jon.
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Old 03-19-2007, 04:16 PM
 
Location: SW MO
339 posts, read 1,318,930 times
Reputation: 142
No problem. I've been a foreign student (in your country) so I know it can be tough at times. You have the benefit of having excellent english, so it won't be as tough for you. My Spanish was just so-so, plus I lived with a family that always spoke Catalan in the home and watched Catalan TV. So much for immersion in the language. But I did get to visit the Basque County (I didn't learn Euskadi). I found the people there among the nicest in the world.
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Old 09-24-2009, 01:34 PM
 
5 posts, read 15,450 times
Reputation: 10
Hi,

A couple of quick reactions to what you asked.

Truman has an excellent reputation.

The town is very homogeneous. There are a few who fluently speak other languages. Some are from Mexico (so they speak Spanish, but not Castellano). We also have some Amish in the area (speak a Swiss Dialect of German). So you would definitely be pushed to speak English. Truman has a program of informal discussion groups with local persons.

Being in the middle of the country, the accent here isn't a strong accent (there is a definite accent though so it isn't the accent-less speech you hear on newscasts and most movies). Your written English is better than many native speakers.

As you note, we are a small town. There is a slower pace of life here than in the bigger cities. Everything is easy to get to. It is safe to walk around at night. But I'll guess that a lot of your social life with be with other Truman students. When you want to visit the big towns, you can probably share a ride with other students. Columbia is 90 miles away (and also has Missouri University). St Louis and Kansas City are just over 3 hours away.

You mentioned being shy. Folks in the middle of the USA tend to be a little reserved by very polite and friendly (I know that seems like a contradiction). Plus you have the student groups as a social activity. Churches are also one of the main ways to meet people.

I hope this helps.
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Old 09-24-2009, 01:40 PM
 
5 posts, read 15,450 times
Reputation: 10
Hi Jon, should have added one more thing. The Weather.

During the Winter, it does occaisionally get below 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-17 C) for the lows. However, in 5 years here I haven't seen it where I would try ice skating. (The local lake does freeze over enough for people to walk out on it).

There was a ski hill here which closed down as it didn't stay cold enough to keep the snow frozen for long enough to make a profit.

In the summer, there is about a week or 2 where it gets really hot (above 90 F = 32 C) and very humid, but otherwise, summers are mild.
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Old 09-25-2009, 10:33 AM
 
Location: Donostia (Basque Country)
13 posts, read 36,594 times
Reputation: 17
Default Sorry :)

Good afternoon "MapleStreet" and thank you very much for your kindness. I really appreciate the fact that you took some time to give me information about both Kirksville and Truman.

Having said that, I would also like to apologize, because I should have probably said this before in the forum, that is, that I have already been in Kirksville. I went to Truman for the Spring 2008 semester. I am sorry for making you waste your time, I should probably have written a final post to explain that my stay in Kirksville was already over and that I am now back in the Basque Country again. Sorry for the inconvenience.

I have to say though that my stay in both Kirksville and Truman was an incredibly positive experience. The beginning was hard, but it ended up being one of the best experiences of my whole life thus far. And by the way, I love the city. I made some really good friends, I had the opportunity to meet a group of local people when a couple of friends invited me to talk to one of their Spanish classes, and the university was great too. I brought many good memories back to the Basque Country from my stay there, and Kirksville will always be a very important place for me.

So, sorry for not warning that I had already been there, although I hope that you will like to know that I had a wonderful experience at both Kirksville and Truman.

Anyway, thank you very much for your help "MapleStreet" and kind regards from the Basque Country,

Jon.
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Old 09-27-2009, 01:47 PM
 
Location: in a pond with the other human scum
1,947 posts, read 1,998,047 times
Reputation: 2248
hi, did you check craigslist Columbia/Jefferson City for roommates in Kirksville? I saw someone posting for a roomie for $175 a month there, dated Sept. 24. Not too old, you could look.
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Old 09-28-2009, 01:08 AM
 
Location: Donostia (Basque Country)
13 posts, read 36,594 times
Reputation: 17
Default I already went there :)

Good morning "cyrano" and thanks a lot for the information. The thing is that this is an old thread and I have already spent the semester abroad at Truman. I went there for Spring 2008 and it is already over a year that I came back to the Basque Country.

Anyhow, thank you very much for your help. Everybody was very kind to me during my stay there and I had a wonderful experience.

Kind regards from the Basque Country,

Jon.
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