To start, my name is Conall Gilleran. I am an Irish inbound exchange student studying at Drexel from September until June. I chose Drexel as I have familial connections to Philly and wanted to study on the east coast. I’ve also always enjoyed the Rocky movies. Having flown from Dublin to Boston to DC, I made my way to Philly via the AMTRAK. I moved into my building on the evening of Friday September 9th and settled in for my first night in Philly. My first day consisted of shopping around for the essentials such as pots, pans and dishware. I made a stop at Rita’s due to the heat and immediately fell in love. Root beer will probably be my flavour of choice from here on out I reckon. My second night in Philly I had the pleasure of meeting the Philadelphia Fire Department after someone (apparently) tried to cook a potato in a microwave in my building. After getting the all clear I trudged back up the fire escape thinking that this would hopefully be the most troublesome thing to happen this week. Anyway, night three the power in my building went out and for the next twenty hours I had no electricity, AC or running water. As a result I had to quickly familiarise myself with the shower facilities in the rec centre on Monday morning so as to make myself presentable for Drexel’s inbound exchange student orientation. There I happened to run into another exchange student in the same predicament. It was an interesting first introduction to say the least. Welcome week for inbound exchange students began with orientation and consisted of various activities centred around meeting others. Activities such as an international ice cream social, a volleyball tournament and silent disco occupied my time for the majority of the week. Throughout I had the pleasure of meeting many other exchange students from all over the world. From Germany, France and Denmark to South Korea, Singapore and Australia. We all quickly bonded over the desire to find friends and the shared experience of being in a foreign location. We familiarized ourselves with Drexel’s campus and the surrounding area. Particularly the food spots like Wawa, Shake Shack and the various food carts. I can certainly see myself getting a lamb Gyro from the Halal cart outside the rec centre quite often throughout my stay. My first week in Philly also included my first NFL Sunday watching the Eagles hold out for an opening day away win against the Detroit Lions. I’ve heard good things about the Eagles chances of an NFC East title if not more this year. So here’s to hoping for a good year for the Eagles and for myself. GO BIRDS!
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