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Oct '10

New international students’ impressions continued:

I really think I have found myself here.  Everything fits me: the society, my team, and the coaches and professors.  It looks like this is the right place for me.

I just needed some time to get to know the people around me to find out that I would be ok here, and that I would eventually consider this my home away from home.

I am definitely enjoying my time here at ECU, and I am amazed every single day by what the university and swimming team has to offer; and I am happy to live this experience.  Living an independent life and studying in a different country, in a different language, and basically to have the opportunity to start over in a place that was not familiar to me until now.

I believe that I have become a true Pirate, but instead of stealing physical treasures, like gold and silver, I am stealing mental treasures, like the knowledge given to me in class by my lecturers and professors.

Of course sometimes I miss my friends, family, and my swim club team and my coaches, but after I got used to the lifestyle and my routine, I am really enjoying my time, and I feel like I want this kind of life forever. When I am talking with my parents every day, I thank them for helping me to achieve this dream life that I’m living here.

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Oct '10

New international students have arrived and are now a part of the Pirate Nation. This is what they have to say about their experience at ECU so far this fall.

The people I’ve met have all been very nice and very inviting. Everyone from the lunch lady, to the faculty and most students as well!  Not only is the ECU campus awesome, the whole town of Greenville is pretty sweet! The same inviting and warm atmosphere exists in the whole of the town which seems to be behind the school a hundred percent.

Applying to ECU to further my studies was one of my greatest decisions. Up to now, my classes are great and I’ve been having good lectures and professors who are willing to help us as students.

My first impressions and observations of Greenville are really beautiful. I really like the environment, society, teachers, teammates, and especially the arena. I am pleasantly surprised by the kindness of the people in Greenville.

Many signs and advertisements of the university are hanging on the street and it really makes you feel the spirit of the place and makes you want to be a part of this thing; to be a Pirate. When my first swim practice arrived, I was really excited to meet all the swimmers; everyone was really welcoming and nice.

…as I got to Greenville, I noticed the amazing atmosphere the town has. It is difficult to explain the fascinating vibe.  Everywhere I look, there are welcoming signs and “GO PIRATES” signs. This spirit is not something that I have seen in other places. I’m proud to be part of this university and its swimming team.  As an athlete in one of the ECU sport teams, I get to spend time with the most qualified people, who all are very nice, welcoming, and pushing you to succeed.

The institute itself is wonderful. I love all the resources ECU has to offer and especially opportunities the students have by just being a student here.

…it was like love at first sight between me and the campus, (sounds ridiculous, I know!). But I knew instantly, that when the time came for me to start applying for colleges, East Carolina just had to be on the list. June 15th was the day I found out that I was accepted to East Carolina University, just six days before my 18th birthday; it was the best birthday gift I could ever ask for.

People are helpful, polite, welcoming and not to forget, outgoing.  This makes me feel more secure and ready to meet whatever college life has to offer.

To see the photos from the Fall 2010 orientation, please click here.

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Oct '09

Here are more of the students’ testimonials of the first semester at ECU.

“There are secret little treasures hidden all over campus. I have found there are so many things to do (as if you don’t already have enough homework to do!). Mendenhall offers movies, a pool, coffee and tickets to all events. There is always something going on, making it easy for students to keep busy.”

I am very happy with my first job in my university (as a soccer referee). I really appreciate Dr. M. – I could not have gotten this job without his help. The International House in ECU is great! I can get help both in my study and my life. I have made a wonderful decision to study in ECU.”

Even if you cannot understand the rules you really have to see what an American football game is! The ambiance was amazing; at the end you see life in purple and gold!

Fall break is getting close, and most of us are excited to benefit from these four days to travel in other big cities! There are many organizations especially created to permit the international student to learn about American culture with many nice trips! For instance, my friends and I are going to New York City during this break by van! This long ride will be an opportunity to learn about each other, which is the most interesting in this kind of exchange program. “

(After initially struggling with learning how to study in the U.S.), I decided to start using some of the university resources. I tried the tutoring center before the exam, and they were very helpful for me to simplify the subject and give me ideas about how the test would be. They also gave me more confidence that if I had trouble understanding any subject they would help me. “

This experience has been one that has marked my life in a positive way, and I think just the fact of coming and living with others is something that changes your life. I think all of us when we came here, no matter from where, hoped this would be an experience that we could never forget, and for me it’s more than that.

I am delighted with the way things are handled here at East Carolina University. To me it is very important that students be treated as people who want to learn and not just as people who can pay the cost of college, and people who work at this university commit themselves to the welfare of the student.”

“The classes are much smaller at ECU than at my home university in Germany, so the lectures are not so anonymous like I was used to. The professors know you, and you have a closer relationship to them than you would have in Germany. They will help you if you struggle in class or answer your questions. All in all I can say that it might take some time to get used to the school system, but if you do so you will find out that the structure of learning is really helpful.”

“After my first week of exams I understood a few things: First, I should study the book because all tests are taken from the book and if you know the book well you will be successful in your tests. Secondly…I began to manage my time and it really helped me. And finally, I now learn vocabulary, visit my teachers during office hours and ask them questions. These are my suggestions, and now I know how to do well. “

“I really like all the resources that the campus has, for example, I love to go to the Rec Center and work out or just play some sports like badminton, basketball, volleyball or racquetball. I also like to go to the library to spend some time studying and concentrating on your homework, assignments or just studying for a test. So going to the library is a really good option to do all those things.”

I’m having a great time here at ECU and most importantly, I am adapting perfectly to the environment and the culture and making tons of friends. For international students it’s really worth it to come here and have your college experience at East Carolina University.”

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Sep '09


This past August, ECU and the Office of International Affairs (OIA) welcomed international students from 26 countries. Here is what they had to say about ECU, North Carolina and the U.S. two weeks after their arrival. We invite you to return to our blog in October to read more about their life on ECU campus.

“Generally, most international students who wish to come here and study are kind of scared. That was my same situation, so it’s not weird to feel that. But I assure you that when you get here and meet a lot of people and have fun in the dorms playing different games, you just change your way of thinking about coming here to study.”

“For international students it’s an excellent idea to come and study here because you learn, have fun, meet new people, and you do all of this in a great environment. So my question is: What else could you ask for?”

“…You have very interesting lectures and the teachers are concerned about the learning success of their students. They want you to participate in the lectures and have fun with it. Most of the teachers really enjoy having an international student in their class. If I have any problems, my classmates really helped me. They offered to help me with the homework or quizzes, advised me where I could get my books, or they were just very interested in me, which helped me also because I did not feel alone at all. A lot of students here at ECU are very interested in meeting people from other countries. They are curious about finding out how people in other parts of the world live and how they study. They try to help you as much as they can, for example: show you the campus, offer to take you by car somewhere, show you the city or even throw a party for you so that you can easily get in contact with more people.”

“My first impression of ECU and its students and staff is that everybody is very friendly and nice. So you get in contact with new people very fast and you will not feel alone here. I already have a lot of new friends who try to help me if I struggle and try to give me a good time here! … I really enjoy this time now, even if there might be some difficulties you have to deal with and new situations you have to get used to.”


“I think it is a high-quality university both academically and in the field of student development as a person. Another positive thing that the university has is that it has large green areas and also places for recreation for students.”

“…People here really care about the welfare of students … Being here is a privilege and I am very excited to learn about different cultures and have the opportunity to experience another educational system different from my country and meet people not only here but also from other countries because there are people here from around the world.”

“Although I have just been at ECU for 14 days, I feel this university is like my family. I believe I will enjoy the life in ECU. The fantastic future is waiting for us, let’s do it. Go Pirates!”

“New country, new environment, new culture, all the things are waiting for me. It is a new adventure.”

“The people are very nice, they are not in a hurry, they take the time to talk with you and explain things you don’t understand. They are also very interested in meeting international students, which is an opportunity to have enriching exchanges.”

“It is really pleasant to walk in the ECU campus as well. It is well-kept, the weather in Greenville permits it to have nice, natural places.”


“The first time I came to the university, on move-in day, I was amazed at how big the university was. Not all the students were there yet, as it was only international students moving in at this time. I moved in and then went out to explore Greenville with my parents.”

“During my first two weeks at ECU I’ve been to things like my first baseball game, a magic show, to the movies, bowling, to clubs, parties, and made many new friends. There is always something going on either on or off campus so I’ve not had the time to be bored yet. The people here at ECU are the best. Everyone is so open; I’ve never seen anything like it. Faculty, students and people around town are always eager to help you no matter what’s on your mind.”


“I found out that the people here are really very welcoming, friendly, and it’s so easy to communicate with them. Furthermore, the International House and the university faculty members are helpful. And they had a major role in helping me to overcome my fears about study.”

“The Southern hospitality here is absolutely comforting and everyone is keen to make sure your stay is the best it can possibly be.”

“I’ve found that in all my lectures the professors encourage and push you to think freely and challenge theories instead of just accepting.”

“The international office has been my life saver and always helps me with any problem or question I have.”

“One of the most exciting things about ECU, I find, is how involved the Greenville is with the football team, the Pirates, and how much of a buzz around campus there is in anticipation for a game.”

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