Sixteen of us were handpicked to receive LJMU’s student exchange bursary to spend three weeks at Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU). A selection of Law, Business, Criminology and English majors travelled around Connecticut to discover a little about American uni life, as well as the Constitution State.
We were surprised to see that the university campuses you see in films in America are actually the reality at SCSU – the neat paths within a compact campus, a basketball court as well a full-sized (American) football stadium next to it.
We explored SCSU’s older sibling Yale, the University’s grand art collection and the city of New Haven.
The following days and weeks were a whirlwind of trips. We visited the Business Expo in Hartford, took part in a poetry reading session with our one and only Andrew McMillan (lecturer in Liverpool Screen School), took a proper American hike to East Rock, spent a day at the beach (getting burnt), listened to a few lectures at our host university, went on a canoe trip, and we watch a baseball game – a first for most of our group. We also visited the state Police Academy and the Mark Twain house.
One of the highlights was meeting Dr Henry Lee, the world’s leading forensic scientist who gave us a lecture, and talked about his journey and some of the stuff he has achieved.
One of the many things I took away from the charismatic Dr Lee was that you can do whatever you want; you just need to build a path to it.
New Haven says its pizza is the best in the US; we found it “normal” Italian style… on the other hand we found something better: great memories and friendships for life. Staying in the townhouses, interacting with the few students who were still on campus, just sitting and talking among ourselves, running around playing endless rounders or catch – the three weeks flew by and it was sadly time to head back home, but we will all be back at some point!
We’ve had a great time and I’d like to say a massive thank you to both universities for making this trip possible. For any LJMU students reading this blog, I’d urge you to apply for this unique opportunity when it comes up again.