Series of a Life of an International Student: Arrival to Chicago

About life in first 3 weeks
The Nest: NEIU Student Dormitory
The Nest: NEIU Student Dormitory
Haruka Saito

My life in Chicago just started three weeks ago, so I will write about the experience of these three weeks. What surprised me the most was the climate. In the airplane, as we approached Chicago O’hare International Airport from my home country, Japan, the announcement said “Temperature of Chicago is negative 4 degrees Fahrenheit (negative 18 degrees Celsius)”, and I thought to myself, “How can I live in such a cold temperature!?” Winter in Chicago was truly cold, and I was afraid that I could get a cold, but luckily I became accustomed to the temperature in my first week here.

From O’hare, I arrived at the Nest, my housing. It has six floors, and adjacent to the lobby there is a gym. Students lodging at the Nest are allowed to use the facility for free. I personally have no experience going to the gym, but I began to use it when I arrived at the Nest. This has been a great opportunity for me to maintain my health, and thankfully, I have been able to stay healthy. 

Since I needed to do everything to sustain myself, I tried to learn, especially how to cook. My favorite meal is curry and rice, so I could be like a chef I have been practicing and steadily the quality of my cooking has grown. I am so happy about that.

At the end of week two, I visited downtown Chicago for the first time to learn a bit about the city. I had an image of the United States; everything is big, large or huge. As I expected, the streets themselves are big, the skyscrapers are big, the cars driving around are big and the food, especially in fast food restaurants (like hamburgers) are big. Everything I saw in Chicago was impressive, and everything I imagined was true. I had fun eating delicious food,  seeing beautiful skyscrapers, and thanks to easy access to the nearby Brown Line station, I can go downtown with one ride on the train. 

My life in Chicago has just started, so I still have a lot of things to see and learn. I am looking forward to what will happen in my university life here at NEIU.

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