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Julia Ionova at Broome Community College


In December 2006 Julia Ionova, a second-year student of the World Economy Department of the Omsk State University School of International Business, received the BCC Foundation’s Norm Herbert Scholarship.  This scholarship covered all education and living expenses for Julia’s studies at BCC during the Spring 2007 academic semester.

Julia has agreed to share her experiences in America as she adjusts to the American style of life and education.



January 22, 2007

Hello to everybody!

I'm in the USA and I like everything here! Now I'm getting used to American language coming from all the directions, to American time, and to American food that is becoming dangerous for my figure.

The funniest thing is that I've managed to give an interview to the one of their TV channels, and they show me in the news! Now everybody in New York knows about Omsk State University and the school of international business :-).

 A photo of me in the BCC campus. Actually, there are so many buildings in BCC that the first few days I couldn't find anything without a map!

My classes in Broome Community College began on Tuesday. I am taking 8 different classes (20 credits). The majority of them are business ones: Human Resource Management, Operations Management, Investments, Organizational Behavior, Business Law, and Public Relations. I also have some physical education courses such as Personal Fitness and Tennis. I don't know why, but everybody becomes very surprised, when I say I have 20 credits. They believe this is too many! However, I'm thinking about taking one more class.

  I'm in Anne Blakeless' office. I must say, Anne is a very nice lady. She always helps me and the other Russian students at BCC; and it doesn't matter what we are asking her for and what is she doing at that time 

The way classes are conducted in BCC is very different from that we have in Russia. The most important thing for instructors is to make students understand the material. So they focus on practice and just enjoy telling different stories. The material seems to be easy, but there is a lot of homework that must be done on time. For example, I must read almost 100 pages for tomorrow. And this is only the beginning!



February 8, 2007


Studying styles in America are much different. We have a lot of homework and tests, but no seminars! Actually, it's not very hard!! But, you see, I have too many classes!! - 7 different subjects (everybody thinks I'm crazy!), so I do not really have a lot of time to relax. However, sometimes we do have some fun! Last Sunday we went snowboarding - Anne Blakeslee took us there. It was great!




March 1, 2007

Hello to Everyone!

I have been here for more than a month, but still every day seems to bring something new. Everything is just wonderful! As I wrote earlier, the educational system is very different in the USA. You may miss many classes and not do much in them, but you must past tests and quizzes. If not, you just fail.

The way classes are conducted is very different as well. The atmosphere is less tense than in Russia - there are fewer strict rules.

Some classes are very easy. My favorite one is Public Relations - I would say it is indecently easy! We do nothing but watch commercials and listen to the instructors stories, which basically have little to do with public relations! Of course I would love it - if I didn't have to get up at 6:00 in the morning to get to the class!

What's amazing for me is that nobody cheats. They never even try to do this, even when the instructor is gone. In studying, everyone is for themselves - nobody even thinks about copying other peoples' homework or asking about other peoples' grades. It's very different from what we have in Russia.

What is also surprising for me in the USA is that everyone drives slowly and carefully! After Russian driving experience all this seems very boring to me! Passing, using the horn, and aggressive driving are very rare here. And everyone follows the rules.

Besides studies, of course, I have a lot of fun here. Shopping, skating and snowboarding…A few days ago we went to New York City. What a crazy place! There are so many people, and all of them are always in a rush. Traffic jams are everywhere, and it is really better to walk because the subway is as crazy as the city itself. But it is still a very beautiful place, which is worth seeing. To be honest this crazy lifestyle for some reason is very attractive and very different from anything I have ever seen. I have been in New York for only one day and, of course, it was not enough. So now I’m looking forward to going there again.



April 9, 2007

The second part of the term started a few weeks ago, so did some of my new classes. The only good thing about it is that both these classes are physical education (PED)! However, they actually have tests on physical education classes as well... But still I love the classes I am taking, especially tennis: It is gorgeous outside now, and playing on the courts is a real pleasure.

Recently I got a NY drivers permit and now I’m allowed to drive cars here! I am so happy, because I really missed driving. Actually I can do it only when an adult with a driver license is in the car with me. But as long as I do not have my car I do not mind if the actual owner of the car is with me when I'm driving! I must say everybody who gives me a car is very brave: All Americans are sure Russian drivers are the craziest drivers ever! Of course, comparing the American driving style with ours, I would say, it is true... but for some reason I'm so proud I'm a crazy Russian driver!

As the weather is getting better, we have started traveling a little bit. We went to Ithaca, which is a not very big, but beautiful town. One of the most prestigious (and expensive :-)) US universities, Cornell, is situated in Ithaca. I really loved this place.

But the most exiting thing is that I am in Florida now! It is time for a spring week in the college, so we may have some rest from studying. Two other Russian girls and I stay with Anne Blakeslee in her house in Sarasota. Though it is only our first day in Florida, I love everything here: The sun, the beach, and our vacation itself.

On the way to Sarasota we stopped in Washington, so I also had a chance to see the capital. It is one of the most beautiful cities I've ever visited. But what I especially loved about Washington is that for some reason it does not seem to be crowded or stuffy as the majority of big cities. I must say I love vacation. Too bad that they are not long enough, ...but I try not to think about this now!





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