I’m going to miss my American teachers.
We are getting close to our departure date. Chicago has been really fun so far. I’m glad we could stay long enough to see what the American lifestyle is like. I do have to say that I miss France—specifically the food and my friends.
This week went by pretty quickly. Since we’re almost finished with the program, a lot of our final projects are coming to an end. I’ve never spent so much time working on presentations before. I’m happy to do it because I’ve been able to practice and improve my speaking skills a lot here.
This week some of my presentations went well and others not so much. I’m still learning. I will definitely miss my American teachers because they are quite different from most of my French teachers. I guess the American culture makes the dynamics between teachers and students different, which is great. Our teachers’ kindness and enthusiasm really motivated me. I loved how they taught us through storytelling and the authenticity and involvement they showed. I hope we showed our teachers at Seagull Institute that we really enjoyed learning with them.
On Thursday we visited the LocalLux offices and sat down to chat with Randy, the company’s CEO. He was very cool and we had a great time. We talked a lot about entrepreneurship and passion. He also shared some tips with us for our future. We also met with Bryan, Bernard, and a few other interns from I.C. Stars. They are looking to grow in the technology industry with website and app projects. It was very interesting talking with them. We ordered pizza at Lou Malnati’s and had lunch together. I had to mention the pizza—it was delicious!
Everyone who comes to Chicago should go to a Bulls game.
Last Monday I went to see a basketball game at the United Center with several of my friends. The Chicago Bulls were playing against the Charlotte Hornets.
I must say that going to a basketball game was something I’d really wanted to do before returning to France. It’s typical of American culture but also something I’d never done before in my life. Even in France I’d never attended a big event like a sporting match or a concert.
I’m really glad that I went! Just arriving in the stands was exciting because they were so huge and impressive. We arrived during the pregame show and that was something I had never seen in person.
You didn’t need to be at the front of the crowd to enjoy the show. The atmosphere all around us was great and the audience was really excited and loud. There were several musical shows, games, and dances all throughout the match.
It really was a huge spectacle; you could tell a lot of preparation and organization went into it. Going to a Bulls game is something I recommend to all foreigners who come to Chicago. The experience will only give you good memories.
And the Bulls won!
Valentine Van Der Slikke
Time has gone by so fast.
Last weekend I went to New York for a friend’s birthday. It took me 18 hours to get there because my flight got canceled due to the snow in New York. Then my second flight got delayed. I ended up making friends in the waiting area and on the plane, which was cool. It really was an adventure, but my weekend in New York was so much fun that it was worth the 18 hours it took to get there.
This week went by really fast. I can’t believe I’m leaving Chicago in a week. On Thursday we visited Randy at his company, LocalLux. His company is like a big department store for local fashion—all on one website.
We talked about his company, as well as the program Randy started. He holds a 16-week program to help people change their careers. We met three people actually participating in the program now, and they all explained what they were working on and what their future plans were. They were all very helpful and gave us advice about our future. I loved the fact that they were really down to earth and so willing to help. It was a great visit.
This weekend is my last full weekend in Chicago and I’m going to enjoy it as much as I can. And next week will be my last blog post! Time’s gone by so fast!
We were all happy to experience an important part of American culture.
Unfortunately, we’re nearing our last few days here in Chicago. Personally I feel really sad to be leaving this amazing city. The cold weather is back, but the sun is still shining and it’s still pleasant. I love it!
Chris, Mathieu, my French roommate Marjorie, and I really wanted to go to a Chicago Bulls game because it’s such an American thing to do. We figured we couldn’t leave Chicago without going to a basketball game, so we bought our tickets to see the Bulls vs. Hornets.
On Monday night we met up after class and headed to the United Center. The place was huge and smelled like fast food! Before the game started, we walked around looking at everything. There were numerous souvenir shops selling Bulls and NBA merchandise, lots of concession stands selling food, and a beer store. People seemed really happy to be there. Some were tourists like us, but the United Center was full of Americans who came to enjoy the game with family and friends.
Around 7 PM, we found our seats and waited for the game to start. The pregame show was crazy. When you arrive in this huge place with the lights and music, the only thing you can think is “Wahoo, it’s real! Welcome to the U.S.!” Basketball is important in Chicago—I mean, who hasn’t heard of the Bulls? The fans around us were crazy, but in a good way. Everyone was just so happy.
After the pregame show, the game started and you could feel the mood shift—people were commenting and really interacting with what was going on in the game. There were a lot of pauses with small performances happening in between—cheerleaders, a hip-hop group, and a lot of different mini games. The funniest things were the selfie cam and kiss cam, where they would catch people and put their images up on the big screen. I’ve seen that on TV before and found it funny, but when it’s in person it’s even funnier.
When the game ended, the Bulls had won with 98 points. I remember the exact score because we were waiting for them to score two more points so we could all receive a free Big Mac. In Chicago, if you attend a game where the Bulls win with 100 points or more, McDonald’s will give you a free Big Mac. I think that’s ingenious.
We were all really happy to go to the game and experience something that’s an important part of American culture.
It was the best company visit we’ve had in Chicago.
This Thursday we visited 1871, a collaborative space and incubator in the city of Chicago.
We met with four people who work there and we all introduced ourselves. The way they went about it was interesting because they didn’t actually introduce themselves—rather, each of them introduced another member of their group. It was a cool and interesting idea.
Several of the people at 1871 have plans to create a smartphone app. They all talked about their experiences, how they work, and what their projects were like. I was able to ask several questions, because I also want to create an app someday. They answered my questions and taught me several things that I didn’t yet know about the domain. It was very interesting to meet people who have the same aspirations as myself and work in a field I want to explore.
We took a tour of the offices, met the people who work there, and ate pizza for lunch. After that, we exchanged contact information through business cards and LinkedIn.
For me, it was probably the best company visit we’ve had in Chicago. I was really interested in what they were doing and it made me want to work hard to progress in my professional projects.