From Evergreens to Everglades

Hi! My name is Cristina, I’m a Junior year student at Richmond, studying BA Finance and Investment, and I am originally from Romania.

Although Richmond was my first choice, I have always wanted to experience a college education in the United States. That is why my roommate and I decided to study abroad at the University of North Florida – sandy beaches, warm weather, a dream💭.

What shocked me the most when I first arrived in Florida was the weather. I was leaving the airport at 4am and thought it would be freezing since it was the middle of the night: the warmth basically hit me in the face! Everyone here is really relaxed; it seems that nobody has a worry in the world. Plus, everybody is always at the beach or in the park – do these people even work?😂.

I am loving everything so far; my teachers are very understanding and excited to have foreign students in their classes. I am taking a lot of major related courses, and my favorites are Investment and Corporate Finance, but I also really enjoy my elective, which is a psychology class. The class size is about 15-20 students, but my psychology class has about 60 in it, which is so different from Richmond. Most of the students are American, but there are a lot of events on campus where I made friends with people from all over the world such as Europe, Australia, Asia, etc., and where we got a lot of free stuff and food (did anyone say FREE Panda Express??🐼).

It’s only been three weeks and I’ve already done typical American college traditions, such as: welcome to college LUAU, American football, pool parties, trip at the springs, campus clubs and maaaany more. My dorm is in the perfect location: 10 minutes’  drive away from the beach and 5 minutes away from the shopping center – what else could a girl need?😂 The campus is absolutely gorgeous and feels like we are in the middle of nature – I am always on the lookout for alligators since we’ve been told so many times that there are some around campus.

I’m so excited for the rest of the semester. We have already planned trips to Miami, Orlando and New York; and unless there is another hurricane planning to visit us again, then we’re good to go! Until next time, I’ll be at the pool!❤️