As an Englishman, I decided to study abroad in Oregon when I discovered the great program run by York St John University in the UK. When I was accepted into the program, I was elated. Whilst preparing to come to Pacific, I was naturally wary regarding the people and the studies. However, I was quickly reassured upon arrival. The main thing I enjoy about Pacific University is the people. The students are very relaxed and friendly. This contrasts with my university in the UK, where such friendliness is not as easy to encounter. I enjoy the amount of schoolwork I’m given here, with the classes being engaging and challenging, yet not overwhelming.
It is refreshing to see familiar faces across campus, which is important to me, as I felt a sense of loneliness at times back in York. I’ve not encountered this same feeling once since starting the semester at Pacific, which is extremely relieving. Making the move to study abroad can be very worrying, so it is amazing to see the amount of effort students, staff, and locals have made in order for me to feel welcomed.
I do sometimes wish I was studying at a bigger university, with a bigger campus, and with more facilities to offer. However, this would naturally come with losing some of the aforementioned benefits that come with studying at Pacific – the homey, community-based feel the university prides itself on.
Almost five weeks into the semester, I decided that, after settling in and finding my feet, one of my classes was not necessarily suited to my degree. I started to contact professors and staff members alike in order to process a change in classes. I soon found out that the deadline for changes had passed, however, my academic advisor successfully took me through the process of a late change. I had the class changed within two days, and my new professor was very understanding of my ideas and my reasons for changing. This is just one of many experiences that epitomize the refreshing behavior I have become accustomed to since coming to Pacific University. At home, it would not have been swiftly dealt with, and I may have struggled finding the senior staff members in order to begin the process – making something like changing class a more difficult proposition. — Eliot Morgan