New Semester, New Approach

NATHALIE TROW-MCDONALD AND CHE-RAINA WARNER

As the new semester starts, students here at the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) have a lot on their minds. Our staff went around surveying local and exchange students to learn their thoughts and opinions for the Spring Semester of 2016.

 

davidbeavansDavid Beavans

first semester exchange student

What was your first reaction to St. Thomas and/or UVI? What surprised you the most?

My first reaction to UVI was kind of bad. This school is super tiny compared to my college back home. I arrived and my phone didn’t have service, hardly anyone was on campus, I didn’t have the code for the WiFi, and there were problems with my room. It was pretty tough for the entire afternoon. Then I met some other National Student Exchange students at dinner and everything changed completely.

 

What was your biggest mistake of last semester/something you want to improve this semester?

Last semester, I slacked off at the beginning of my classes. Thus, I dug a hole for myself and was forced to climb out of it by the end of the semester. This semester I’m going hard in the beginning so it will be easier at the end.

 

What are your goals for the end of the semester?

My goals by the end of the semester are to visit a lot of places, make lifelong friends, and become more cultured.

Sabrina Powell

returning freshman

What was your first reaction to St. Thomas and/or UVI? What surprised you the most?

Before I came to St. Thomas, I had no idea that the food was so different from St. Croix. The cafeteria food was quite mediocre. It took me some time to adjust to the food.

What was your biggest mistake of last semester/something you want to improve this semester?

Last semester, I mismanaged my funds. I spent most of my money doing online shopping.

What are your goals for the end of the semester?

My goal for this semester is to attain a 3.2 or above GPA in order to make the Dean’s list.

 

 

meganhaarberg.jpgMegan Haarberg

first semester exchange student

What was your first reaction to St. Thomas and/or UVI? What surprised you the most?

My first reaction to St. Thomas and UVI was that it was incredibly beautiful and the weather felt so good. Everything went really smoothly. I was early to the university so I just walked around and went to the beach. I was super excited! I guess the things that surprised me were how expensive the taxis are, the lack of real addresses, and I’m still adjusting to the lack of convenience. But I like all of it. It exceeded my expectations and they were really high!

 

What was your biggest mistake of last semester/something you want to improve this semester?

I actually took last semester off and that wasn’t a mistake at all. It was a really good opportunity for growth.

 

What are your goals for the end of the semester?

My goals are to finish with good grades while still enjoying exploring the islands. I want to make good meaningful connections while here and grow as a person every day, so I guess my main goal is to finish the semester feeling good about myself

 

Blairanna Glasford

returning sophomore

What was your first reaction to St. Thomas and/or UVI? What surprised you the most?

Upon coming to UVI, my biggest surprise was having to adjust to sharing a living space with 15 other females.

What was your biggest mistake of last semester/something you want to improve this semester?

One of my biggest mistakes was procrastinating on completing my assignments.

What are your goals for the end of the semester?

My goal for this semester is to achieve A’s in all my subject areas.

 

amberdutkiewicz

Amber Dutkiewicz

first semester exchange student

What was your first reaction to St. Thomas and/or UVI? What surprised you the most?

My first reaction was, “Wow, this place is more beautiful than the pictures!” I was glad to be in warmer weather because I came from Vermont where the temperature was in the single digits and there was snow on the ground. I felt a nice relaxed vibe here. There was no tension or sense of rush. What I was most surprised about is how steep the campus was. The pictures did not show that, haha.

 

What was your biggest mistake of last semester/something you want to improve this semester?

My biggest mistake last semester was not getting involved because I worked all the time.

 

What are your goals for the end of the semester?

My goals by the end of the semester are to spread my positive energy around campus, to make as many friends as I can, learn as much about the culture as I can, and try new things!

 

 

 

Tayla-Marie Manners

returning senior

What was your first reaction to St. Thomas and/or UVI? What surprised you the most?

When I first came to UVI, I was most surprised at the level of customer service meted out to students at the administrative level.

What was your biggest mistake of last semester/something you want to improve this semester?

My biggest mistake of last semester was procrastinating on my assignments and eventually completing them last minute.

What are your goals for the end of the semester?

My goal for this semester is to graduate in May with top honors.

 

annabruick

Anna Bruick

first semester exchange student

What was your first reaction to St. Thomas and/or UVI? What surprised you the most?

I did my research before I came to UVI, so not too much really shocked me. I knew of some of the initial cultural differences such as driving on the left side of the road, greeting with “good day” instead of “hello” and other things as well. I would say the hardest thing to adjust to is the difference in dialect of the language. Even though we speak the same language, people here speak very fast, with an accent, and there is different slang that I am not familiar with.

What was your biggest mistake of last semester/something you want to improve this semester?

Last semester was a very tough academic semester for me at my home school. I was also working 26 hours a week, and involved in multiple extra-curricular activities. I did not take the time to take care of myself, or do things I enjoy.

What are your goals for the end of the semester?

While still focused on my number one priority of a
quality education, I am going to take time to do things I enjoy and not overwhelm myself again. With a beach five minutes from campus, I don’t think I will have any trouble ensuring enough time to relax this semester!

 

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