Exploring College Park and Beyond!- Francis
My name is Francis Antony, and I am a first year Master of Science in Information Systems student from Bangalore, India. When I came to the University of Maryland, it was the first time I left India, my very first trip abroad. I was excited about the journey ahead, and I was also a tad bit nervous. The only experience I had with American culture before was watching American TV shows!
I landed at Dulles airport and was greeted with light showers. Surprisingly, I was not upset by the rain, it actually made me feel less homesick and I felt like I was back in my hometown in Kerala, India. I took got to take one of the airport pickup shuttles offered by University of Maryland (GSG, Yuva, CSSA).
Once I kicked off the jet lag, I began touring the University of Maryland campus, the campus was and still is absolutely beautiful. The weather was lovely and people were kind. I was having the time of my life because I love photography and spent quite a lot of time taking photos around campus. Here are some of the photos I took while walking around campus.
In my first few months on campus, I also got to visit nearby attractions in Maryland and Washington D.C.
- Annapolis, MD – The capital of Maryland
It around 30 miles from campus. Its nickname is the America’s Sailing Capital. We got to visit the US Naval Academy and had amazing Crab Cakes. It was a fun day.
- Washington DC
The nation’s capital is a stone’s throw away and the Capitol building is around 9 miles from the Robert H. Smith School of Business and you can take the subway to get there. I visited the Capitol building, and walked down the National Mall. It was a wonderful experience and I will be going back there again soon to visit the Smithsonian museums- they are all free! There are so many things to do here that you just can’t do them all in one day.
- Sandy Point State Park
It’s about 36 miles from Smith School. It’s located along the northwestern shore of Chesapeake Bay. Our MPO (Master’s Program Office) organized the whole thing, we had an amazing barbeque lunch and played games. It was an afternoon well spent. PS: This was the first time I tried my hand at American football!
- Ocean City MD
This resort town is located around 145 miles from Smith school. It was a fun afternoon and I had good food, a delicious thick chocolate shake then walked beside the beach.
- New York
I also got to visit the Big Apple! It was awesome! It’s a four-hour bus ride from Washington DC, and you can plan a trip with your friends when you get here. Maybe you can get tickets for the taping of Late Night TV shows like Tonight Show, or Late Show, or SNL (Saturday Night Live). Our Smith Masters Student Association is actually putting on a trip to New York and Philadelphia for students soon!
There are tons of activities and events that happen on campus every day and I try to take part whenever I am free. Don’t restrict yourself to just going to class and back to your apartment. Get out there and experience new things, follow the social media accounts of the Smith School, University of Maryland, and you can get to know about the events. I too, will be updating my Instagram handle (@francis_antony359) with more pictures, so feel free to look me up if you want to see more!