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Louisiana State University – The Home of Southern Hospitality

Since I arrived at Louisiana State University, also known as LSU, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, I have been overwhelmed with how different the university experience in the United States is compared to back home in Australia. I am lucky enough to be staying in on-campus apartments which enabled me to have my own room along with a shared bathroom and kitchen with my 3 other roommates, who are luckily enough all local students, and this accommodation is completely distinct to living at home back in Sydney.

I am currently 1 month into my exchange in the United States and have been lucky enough to travel to New Orleans, Atlanta and Washington DC before I commenced at LSU. In the United States, every state and city is completely unique and all 3 of these cities gave me a great insight into the local history and culture. Specifically, New Orleans has been my favourite city so far because of its blend of American, French, Portuguese, Spanish and Afro-Caribbean culture and rich history that sets it far apart from the rest of the United States.

The Southern Hospitality in Louisiana is shown by everyone as the locals go out of their way to help anyone and this ranges from driving people around campus to giving out free food and drinks at a tailgate on gameday. The sense of pride in LSU is shown by almost everyone, whether it be students or even locals, wearing an item of clothing with the LSU logo on it. Also, the idea of Greek life at LSU with fraternities and sororities is something that we don’t have back home and they host multiple events throughout the year, including tailgates, parties, formals and networking events.

The facilities at LSU are truly world class and they have everything on campus that a typical college student could ever need. This ranges from the unbelievable UREC Complex which spans nearly 25,000 square metres, with an indoor running track, rock climbing walls as well as a lazy river shaped in the university’s initials. Additionally, the UREC Field Complex has 4 softball fields, 8 multi-purpose sports fields, a soccer stadium, a baseball stadium and the 100,000 seater football stadium, known as Tiger Stadium. The college football team, the LSU Tigers, is the pride and joy of Louisiana and have started the season undefeated, which defied all pre-season expectations. Amazingly, the mascot for the football team is a Bengal Tiger, named Mike the Tiger, who lives in a zoo right next to Tiger Stadium. Additionally, the atmosphere at my 1st LSU Football game was nothing like I have ever experienced before with the LSU band playing the college songs and fireworks being shot out of the stadium.

I was lucky enough to have saved up 4 electives in my degree to use for my exchange in the United States and I decided to use these to take up US History and American Politics subjects to learn more about America. This is very different to studying Accounting and Economics back in Sydney and allows to gain a unique perspective on the local history and culture as well as maintain my passion for history and politics from high school.

Matthew D’Cruz
Bachelor of Accounting
Louisiana State University
United States
ISEP Program

For more information about the UTS Global Exchange program please visit: www.global-exchange.uts.edu.au

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