If you’re a student looking into studying abroad at Auburn University, rest assured that you will be surrounded by a family of students and staff that believe in the Auburn spirit.
While the transition from your university abroad to Auburn may be welcoming and filled with our family spirit, it can also be quite overwhelming. That is why it’s important to come ready to embrace the big culture change and prepare yourself to plug into all Auburn has to offer. Sandra Dieterle, a foreign exchange student from Black Forest, Germany, came to Auburn with a ton of expectations, but found that Auburn exceeded her expectations.
One big difference she noticed in Auburn’s education is the workload. At her home university, Offenburg University, the only big assignment students have is a final exam at the end of the semester. Dieterle was surprised when she looked at her syllabus and saw weeks filled various assignments. “An advantage to what I’m used to (Offenburg’s curriculum) is that you can study at your pace and figure out what you want to learn and when,” said Dieterle. “The disadvantage is that if you fail, you have a bad grade.”
Another big transition you may notice is that unlike many universities outside the United States, Auburn has a lot of school spirit. Dieterle noted that she was “very impressed with the marching band at football games because there is nothing like that back in Germany.” While at her first Auburn football game, she found herself in disbelief at how many students showed up for the football game. “It shows how spirited the Auburn students are,” she said.
Do not be scared to branch out and attend new events. As Dieterle states, “Auburn students are very involved on campus unlike universities elsewhere.” Auburn has so many different clubs and events to offer. Your time here will fly by, so be sure to take advantage of all Auburn has to offer before you leave. Dieterle plugged into various different clubs when she got here to make the transition easier. She found that there was a club for each of her interests. In addition, she also found a slice of home when she joined the German Club here at Auburn.
Also, it’s the norm at Auburn to wear Auburn University apparel. Dieterle states that “nobody back in Offenburg even knows you’re studying there because no one wears attire that says the school name.” Therefore, it may come as a surprise when you see students wearing the Auburn logo loud and proud. Many Auburn students consider the school to be a part of their identity.
According to Dieterle, “the students in America are much more open than they are elsewhere.” While she believes students in Germany are friendly as well, they tend to be much more closed off. College social life in America is much different than other countries. Students will strike up a conversation with you anywhere, whether it be you’re standing in line to get food or sitting behind them in class. When you join the Auburn family, be prepared to be welcomed in with open arms and a helping hand.