Purdue is one of the most diverse universities in the U.S. Thousands of international students come to Purdue to start a new life. What makes them want to come here? What are their Purdue experiences like? We will find out in “Spotlight”, where we focus on different international students and their home countries.
Jennifer Pouplin, an aerospace engineering graduate student, left her home in France last fall to become a Boilermaker. She chose Purdue because it’s the best university for aerospace engineering in propulsion and astrodynamics.
In the beginning, it was hard to adapt to the American school system. In France, Jennifer didn’t have any homework, only exams and projects. Her advice to other European students in order to adapt easier is to not worry too much about the academic part – the great education system in Europe has prepared you well for the classes at Purdue.
If you would have any concerns about your academic performance, Jennifer thinks the opportunity to get help from TA’s and teachers is amazing. That kind of resource doesn’t really exist in France to that extent.
Regarding the American culture itself, Jennifer didn’t have any problems adapting. But there are some aspects of it that are very different from France. For example, she thinks roads and cars here are really big.
“And why do you want so much ice in your drinking water, even in the winter?” she said laughing.
The best thing about Purdue, according to Jennifer, is the college and sport spirit. But that doesn’t stop her from missing home sometimes. What she misses the most is food: cheese from Italy, meat from Spain, chocolate from Switzerland – the list goes on.
Jennifer said international students, especially exchange students who spend limited time at Purdue, should enjoy their time here because it goes by very fast. Find friends and go on trips during the weekends, for example, to Chicago or Indianapolis. She also suggests to get involved in clubs and sports to make the most of your Purdue experience.
“For people that are here for more than one semester, get a sports pass for the whole season – so worth it!” Jennifer said.
Purdue has 27 different programs in France; some of them are exchange programs for one or two semesters, or over the summer. Many of the programs don’t require any previous French classes, but a few do. Do you want to spend the summer or fall studying in France? For the most programs, apply before March 1.