Are the people in Grand Rapids MI friendly

Stefan Teschl

The two campuses of Grand Valley State University (GVSU) are located in western Michigan, about three hours from Detroit. The main campus is in Allendale and about 30 minutes from the second campus in Grand Rapids. However, this is not a problem. Both locations can be easily reached by public transport, which is mainly used by students to change campuses.

At the airport in Grand Rapids I was picked up directly by Orientation Leader Gabbi, who is studying at the GVSU herself. We went to Meijer - the supermarket - and Gabbi had a list of everything I will need. She then took me to my apartment on campus in Allendale (Laker Village Apartments). Then the Orientation Week started. During this week you get to know all the “internationals” - around 50 this semester - and some local students, and do a wide variety of activities. The orientation week was great because you make a lot of new people and know a lot of people on campus right from the start. Among other things, we visited the city of Grand Rapids and the “Grand Haven” beach of Lake Michigan.

The university system is somewhat different, but it is more similar to the FH system than that of the university in Austria. Attendance at the lectures is compulsory. And most courses have a small test every week, which in the end makes up a large percentage of the final grade. If you don't know your way around somewhere or if you have unanswered questions, the professors are there for you, especially if you are an exchange student.

With Detroit and Chicago only about a three-hour drive from Grand Rapids, there is a great opportunity to visit the cities over the weekend. Lake Michigan Beach is also only about 30 minutes away.

I like it very much here at GVSU, the people on campus and in Grand Rapids are very friendly and you feel very comfortable here after a short period of acclimatization.

Some insights:

Stefan Teschl in front of the Library Clock Tower

Grand Rapids (© Stefan Teschl)

Library (© Stefan Teschl)

Laker Village (© Stefan Teschl)

Grand Rapids (© Stefan Teschl)

Grand Haven (© Stefan Teschl)

Grand Haven (© Stefan Teschl)