Studying abroad at UW-Madison was not my first time of being far away from home, but it was really unique experience. I did many things I have never did before: making new friends from different cultural backgrounds, studying in a second language, attending football and baseball games, researching with a professor, watching the NCAA final four and screaming for the Badgers, and experiencing a long, cold winter. I joined a public speaking club and met many new friends.
I like many aspects of the city of Madison. It has beautiful scenery. The most enjoyable moment of my days was to jog along lake Mendota and watch the sunset. The city is also very safe. Before coming to US there were a lot of warnings about not go out alone at night and so forth, but Madison is really a secure place with a good atmosphere for studying.
But my favorite part of Madison is the people. The VISP staff are always helpful and supportive; they were always there whenever I needed help. The professors are very nice and approachable; even if I asked a silly question they responded clearly and patiently. The friends I met were very interesting. Since we all come from different backgrounds, I can always learn something new from them. People are my favorite aspect of this University and this town, and they will surely be the part I miss most after I leave.
All of these make me believe in this year in Madison will be a big step in my personal growth. Making many new friends makes me become more confident and outgoing, being far away from home makes me more independent and strong. Experiencing new things brings me to a wider world I had never imagined. With no exaggeration, my time in Madison was a life-changing experience.
If I could give only one suggestion to the incoming VISP student I would say, "be PROACTIVE." The best experiences came from being proactive, while all the regrets came from not being proactive enough. So if you would like to do something, just go for it!