Castleton is the place where cold winter is warm because of friendly and kind people. I have been here since January as a part of Global Undergraduate Exchange program. My favorite season of year is summer, but during my breaks I visited some warm states, but still missed cold Vermont even with snow. The main question is why? I will try to explain.

My name is Irakli and I come from Georgia. I have to write here the same phrases I use while introducing myself:

-You can call me Hercules, if it is easier for you.
-Not the state Georgia, but country Georgia
-Oh, it is in Eastern Europe.

Vermont isn’t popular state in Georgia. Maybe the only thing some Georgians know is that Bernie Sanders is the senator of Vermont. When The US embassy in my country sent me the state where I would study, I was partly disappointed because Vermont is mostly cold state. When I arrived here we had a big snowstorm. Soon classes started and I had no time to think about how much I hate winter, snow and cold weather. Not only time, but also no wish to complain about anything, because there were more things to be happy.

Why I like here?

First of all, the environment is excellent.  People know how to respect each other and even they are able yo respect very opposite opinions. They also  have strong social trust and know how to work together with others. For me the USA always has been the land of freedom and it is. Here I can easily express my opinions and also I feel more respected as an individual human being.

Moreover, Castleton education system is very interesting. Classes with no more than 20 students allow me to be more involved in class activities and express myself easier and better. When people ask me what I will miss when I go back to my country, the response is always this: “Friends, Professors and independent lifestyle”. Professors are very different here than in my home country. They are friendly and always ready to help anyone. I like the system of office hours, when you can visit your professor ask any question you want or just talk about your concerns. We don’t have such office hours in Georgia and I think I will really like it if we have. The process of classes are also very interesting, interactive and full of different activities, that help me to enhance my education level.

Castleton is the place where you can find answer or help on any question or concern you have. It gives us opportunity to live healthier with the help of gym, pool and Wellness Center with amazing staff. Living on campus is also very interesting and challenging, but finally you study how to live independently and how to face different problems. Campus is the really useful place if someone wants to get ready for the life. Also, I want to mention that every day here is special. With the help of university clubs, university staff and Student Government Association (SGA) I have participated in a lot of different and interesting activities so far. They do their best to make our campus life better.

Castleton itself is very friendly town. The population of the city where I live in Georgia is more than one million, while the population of the whole country is 3.7 million people. The population of Castleton is around 5000. People know each other and they have really friendly attitude. Sometimes when a lot of people live in small cities or towns, they don’t feel very comfortable and tend to be more aggressive, because of the lack of personal space, but here in Castleton everything is different. I have visited Town Library, Bank, Medical Center and other places. People there were interested where I come from and they asked me a lot of questions. It was really amazing experience, but sometimes people are too communicative outside, that I feel uncomfortable, but then always realize that this kind of life is better.

I leave Castleton on May 18. I think 4 months here will help me to fulfil my aims in the future. American experience already motivated me. I go back to my country with different ideas, that I want to implement in my university or even in my community. I also want to share my experience with young people in Georgia to make them more motivated to involve in different activities, that will help them to pave the way to success.