Student Report by Anna G.
Housing at UNCW! Off-Campus or On-Campus?
When deciding where you want to live during your time at UNCW, there are two options. You can either live on-campus or off-campus.
Most of the International students I met so far are living on campus, in either the Seahawks Crossing or the University Suites. This is very convenient as classes are very close by. Besides that, there is always something happening on-campus, so you definitely do not get bored. During the first week there was a silent disco, bingo, a climbing event and a lot more. Every week you get a newsletter that keeps you updated about the events that happening during the week. So, don’t miss out on that.
However, I decided to live off campus. If you decide to live off campus, you need to keep in mind that it takes more time and effort to find something. Whereas you have a room on campus guaranteed. Nonetheless, I do not regret my decision. I found a really nice place 10 min walking from campus. If you live in the 1mile radius of Campus you can take the UNCW shuttles to go to university. However, I would recommend you to buy a bike or a skateboard as it is very convenient to go to classes when you live off campus but also when you want to get from one class to another.
Student Mentors and Host Families
Have you heard of the International Student Mentor Program and the Community Host program offered by university? No? Then you should definitely continue reading. Before coming to North Carolina/ UNCW the university gives you the opportunity to sign up for these programs.
The International Student Program pairs you with a student from UNCW. This is very helpful as you already get in contact with them before even being in the states. Before I came to Wilmington, I had the opportunity to get to know my student mentor by email and she also offered to pick me up from the airport. This was very helpful as I arrived on Wednesday and the shuttles organized by the university were only running on the weekend after I arrived. At the beginning of the semester I still had many questions regarding classes and university in general. A tip from me for you: If you are not sure about something and you do have a student mentor, do not hesitate to contact them. All the student mentors have been abroad so they know how you are feeling, and they are willing to help you as good as they can.
Within the Community host program, you get paired with a host family. This is a great opportunity to get in contact with American people and to get to know their culture better. People that did not get paired with a host family prior to coming to the US, got “adopted” by other host families. During my first week I was invited to my host family’s home. This was great as I did not know anyone besides my student mentor. My host grandma cooked southern food to show us their specialties. Within my second week a friend invited me to a game night with her host family and some other host families and their kids. They are planning on doing it every month and I am already looking forward to the next one. The week after we had a dinner with some other host families and international students. Everyone brought some food and we had a very nice evening.
All in all, I would say that you should not miss these two great opportunities as they really facilitate getting adapted to the new environment and help you to get to know the American culture.