A Spaniard in The College of New Jersey

A Spaniard in The College of New Jersey

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My first two months here have been extremely riveting. I remember the day I arrived on campus and I cannot believe that the first half of the semester is already gone!

In two months I have already been faced with participating in situations that I have never experienced before in my life. Ultimately, the only way that I can describe it´s like youre riding an emotional roller coaster

During the first two weeks of school, international students explored the American campus lifestyle together and formed friendships amongst each other. Unfortunately, due to jet lag, the first night resulted in a disrupted sleep pattern as I woke up at 4 AM. Nothing can describe the feeling of seeing my empty room for the first time, only filled with a table, a mattress and a closet. However, I have now filled it with memories from Spain and made it my new home.


We were expected to jump into the swing of college life as school had begun and work started to pile up. We all have different classes, with different people, in a different language. It was fairly clear that summertime was over and that it was now time to focus on studying. The transition from summer to school was the hardest time, because I realized that my adventure was real and that this was my new life. This was the first time that I experienced a culture shock. Although this is an amazing opportunity, it is not all about making friends and having fun, you must study and improve your English to effectively communicate with others. Despite making new friends, you have to be able to be independent and realize that there is going to be ups and downs when participating in a new culture.

Once you have become adjusted to the new way of life, everything becomes easier and better. The fact that I have now met so many nice people from the international house and of course other American students has really helped me to make my time here enjoyable.

There are many cultural differences between TCNJ and UAH. The educational system is not the same as the Spanish one. Here, there are between 25 and 30 students in our classes, and we are graded on projects and paper work. It is not like in Alcalá, that you either have classes in the morning or in the afternoon, here you have classes the whole day.

Without a doubt, the most unusual thing about living here is the language, and the timetables. Prior to my arrival in America, I believed my English was strong. However, by the second day, when I started speaking English with other international students, it was clear I had to improve my English. And finally the timetables. Lunch is at 12:00PM and dinner at 6:30PM. This works out well but when it gets to 9:00PM, I am hungry again. I will always love the Spanish mealtime, and of course our food. Jamón serrano, Spanish omelet, paella or gazpacho.

After all this, I can say that I am really happy to being studying at TCNJ, which is a lovely campus, and where I know for sure that I am going to grow as a person. Ultimately, this experience has already made me more mature, improved my English and given me amazing friends, and therefore I would recommend it to everyone.


Alba Gutierrez firma

Firmas invitadas. Ayudas de Estudio y Lectorado Instituto Franklin – UAH 2017-2018


Alba Gutiérrez IF-UAH

My name is Alba Gutiérrez, I am an international student from Spain. I am 19 years old. I study Law and Business Administration at The Universidad de Alcalá. I am studying for two semesters at The College of New Jersey with Instituto Franklin – UAH Study aid. My major is business, and I am taking finance, marketing and management classes.


Firmas Invitadas
The Franklin Students' Blog publica las aportaciones e historias de éxito de sus Alumni.


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    Hola Alba,
    Me gustó mucho leer tu publicación. A tu corta edad es admirable de ver como con mucha determinacion y entusiasmo estás enfrentado todos estos cambios. Pienso que la gran parte de ellos ya están superados y poco a poco te irás sintiendo más cómoda y correras como Pedro por su en NJ y NYC. Y ésta es la parte más agradable de estudiar en el extrangero. Ánimos maja!
    I know TCNJ’s curriculum can get really intense but remember that you are doing almost twice of work than the rest of us. And as far as I can tell, you have what it takes to achieve your final goal successfully. Stay strong and faithful!

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