My year abroad

Adventurous Me

Every day I find something new! The other night my friends and I took a lovely wander late at night down to the river and along to the bridges, it was beautiful. Everything is lit up so well here that its like a magical city.

Sounds like a fairy tale… well don’t worry I’m not in unicorn land! America can be so harsh! The cold has started to set in and its a very different cold to English autumn, its like the wind chills you to the core! I am usually such a warm person, but even I find that I could do with a good jumper.

I am excited to wear woolly jumpers and hats, it reminds me of home, just not as damp. I am looking forward to the snow when it comes and also I am looking forward to visiting my family in Boston over christmas time. I love the opportunity to see family who I don’t often see and to get to spend a long time with them and get to know them better. 

My workload continues to be pretty big, but also manageable. I am really starting to enjoy my class on Infusion Therapy in the home because I feel like I have found a good direction to go in. I am also enjoying being a part of the Theatre club… something I will always love is being dramatic!

Must dash, lots of stuff to do and things to plan!

Peace and love

Maisie moo x

Birthday and other such shenanigans.

So I turned 21! Yay! A year older, possibly a year wiser…
Everyone is so lovely here, I had a fantastic time and I made some new friends!

The work so far at KCAD is pretty interesting, it is getting harder, and there is definitely more homework than I have ever had, but it is worthwhile and interesting! I am especially beginning to enjoy the project we are doing based on home infusion therapy, which is all about helping people use and IV set up at home. It is a complicated and pretty outdated procedure, and it will be interesting to come up with some new ideas and solutions for it. So far I am interested in the organisation and teaching side of it.

I am also still really enjoying my visual presentation classes! They are good fun and we get set homework every time that builds our skill base and portfolio very well. This week we have to draw kitchen items. It should be pretty interesting!

This whole city is so full of art, it is beautiful and swarming with new ideas and designs and people with so much imagination. I love my friends so far!

I feel like I am discovering new areas all the time, I went on a nice walk yesterday and saw more of the riverside and the beautiful buildings nearby. I was stunned by some of the contrasts between nature, the old and the new buildings. I really enjoyed looking at the sculptures that seem to be all over the place here!

I am beginning to miss home a lot though, one thing I really miss is marmite… But apparently I am being sent some in the post! Obviously I am missing all my friends back home, but I am also happy that we will have some time to miss each other!

Some ‘fun’ facts:
-America has 3 holes in its ring binder paper… And a 3 hole punch.
-The phone contracts here not only charge you for outgoing texts and minutes, but also for incoming texts and calls!!! WHICH IS BLOODY OUTRAGEOUS!
-Nobody seems to know what a crumpet is! Which upsets me a bit, as they are possibly my favourite breakfast type food ever in the world, and I feel like America should have them by now.
-Post is not post, it is Mail…
-Rubbish is not rubbish, it is Trash…

Anyway, enough of the trivia! I am finding some really fun and weird things out all the time. Also it was interesting today as I was asked what stereotypes Brits have of Americans…

Hope everyone enjoyed reading this!

Peace, love and crumpets!

Maisie moo x

First week of classes.

So this Monday was my first day of classes, and today is the end of my week! The classes I am taking are; industrial design 3, where we look at a specific area and research it and try to find a solution; visual presentation 2, which is all drawing and assignments based on giving us a wider range of skills; industrial design thesis 1, which is a chosen topic that we have to research and then in the second term we get to design solutions; and research methods, which is all about researching deeply into a specific topic and identifying areas that are in need of new ideas.

So far I am absolutely loving it all!! The research heavy subjects may sometimes be a bit difficult for me, but I am still excited about them as they are all based on really interesting areas of design. I really enjoy visual presentation 2 as our tutor is pretty cool. He is a ‘don’t take shit from nobody’ type man who really really likes Star Wars and has the most wonderful potty mouth. I think it’s great when someone is so straight talking and honest about work. It will be very hard to hand in anything unless it is to a very good standard with this guy! So that’s pretty brilliant.

The way the classes are set out is also something I like, the homework is set in parts and means that we build our portfolio a bit at a time rather than sometime rushing it at the end. I don’t mind having assignments set and due in the same week, it keeps me pretty busy and entertained. Helps a lot that I enjoy the course!

Anyway on a less academic note, I found out today that rubber doesn’t mean eraser here in America… The way I found this out was pretty embarrassing. I also found out that driving whilst on the phone is technically illegal here, however people just do it anyway… Reassuring.

There was a bit of talk about celebrating my 21st! Someone suggested we all go line dancing, what a fabulously not-me thing to try! However I think maybe just a few nice bars would suffice. Though this is beer city USA, so most of the places are just full of beers and ales! There are so many breweries all over this place! It’s nice to have people coming up with ideas though.

I am looking forward to the weekend, the current KCAD industrial design students are holding a bonfire to welcome us UK students to the college! I am really happy that we will get to meet them all in a non-college environment. Though so far in college they have all been pretty cool!

I am hoping to get a job here at some point… There are lots of places hiring, I just have to get a special number first! But that shouldn’t be too hard. I would really like to go visit Chicago at some point too!

I still haven’t tried a Twinkie, someone described it to me today and I just don’t think I ever will.

Peace and love

Maisie moo

A quick one

So classes start on monday, and I am very excited! 

America so far has been incredibly welcoming, I really am enjoying it here! It is so lovely to have people going out of their way to help me out when I need it. 

The week of orientation has gone incredibly well! The facilities at KCAD are incredible! I absolutely cannot fault it. I will be excited to use the 3D printers and try out 3D scanning as well. My projects this year are going to be so fun. :) 

Anyway other stuff I learned this week:

-you dont have to wear a seatbelt in the back of a car here if you are 16 or over

-bikers dont have to have helmets

-nobody has fairy lights unless it is christmas (so many funny looks everywhere I have asked)

-THERE IS NO HUMOUS ANYWHERE I LOOK (so I shall make some of my own)

-Buses stop for you even if you dont put out your hand, when I put my hand out the driver said, ‘I can see you, you know, it is broad daylight!’

-Hollister is really cheap here… I may have got a jumpsuit, and it may be absolutely beautiful… but I would never have got it in England!

Peace out

Maisie Moo x

First day in America

I arrived safely! We all did, no crashes and no mad security issues… Though my bag got checked twice even though I had no liquids in there!

America has my fingerprints! Crazy, and scary to think that I can’t even commit crime here… Haha.

So the place we are staying at whilst we wait for our halls is quite lovely, it’s a condo belonging to a good friend of Mike, our tutor, and it is comfortable and spacious.

At midday we went to Downtown Holland and then visited a lovely brewery for lunch, New Holland Brewery, I had a yummy avocado sandwich. Before that we visited Saugatuck, a lovely lakeside tourist town with some very kitschy shops and a chain ferry called Diane. One of the best shops is Hooty Scooty, full of odds and ends that are fun but totally random. I couldn’t take photos, but I saved the images in my mind!

We went to visit Tiara Yachts in the afternoon, as Mike, used to work there. It was incredible! We got to see the whole production line and it was so inspiring. I was impressed by it all. We got to go onto yachts that were still being built and were covered in wrap etc. Overall a brilliant trip.

Just before we went to Tiara Yachts, we visited Ottawa beach, Holland state park, on Lake Michigan, it was amazing! It was just so much like the seaside is, hot and sandy and even with waves. We saw a very cute family of ducks and also a dead fish, which Hayley touched out of morbid curiosity.

In the later afternoon we went to visit Grand Rapids to see where we would be studying and where we would be living! It was beautiful and arty and so cool!! There was even a jazz festival going on right when we got there, and I bought a frozen yoghurt and got given a job application!

Went to a place called Hop Cat to get a little drink and play cards with Hayley, Kamran and Mike. It was cute. Odd not to be legally allowed alcohol! But I’m 21 in about 2 weeks, so that will be interesting.

AMERICA HAS FREE REFILLS on basically everything other than alcohol! It made me quite happy today. Also the light switches are all wrong and the cars only have to have one number plate, which did bug me for no reason other than habit.

Now I am going to bed! Mike is watching Pulp Fiction in the living room, Hayley is in bed and Kamran is too. Today has been a lovely lovely day. :)

Peace out


My first post: pre-America

In 6 days I will be flying out to America with my good friends Hayley and Kamran to study there for 10 months. To say I am excited is possibly an understatement… I actually feel like I have kittens crawling around somewhere between my lungs and my lower intestines.

I will be studying for my second year of product design at the wonderful Kendall College of Art and Design, part of Ferris state university, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I am told it is a pretty cool place, plenty of snow for a good few months. I’m so happy to be going to somewhere with snow! Real, beautifully deep and crisp, snow.

Obviously I am really looking forward to my course itself, it really is my absolute favourite thing to be studying and I love it. One of my best decisions in life so far was to change course and study something I really enjoy. So to be able to study it at a wonderful college and in an amazing place like Grand Rapids, Michigan is something I am truly grateful for.

I am hoping to post regularly about my new experiences and adventures in America on this blog, so I hope that people are not annoyed by that! I have always wanted to try blogging, so this is my excuse for it. I am going to miss people so so much whilst I am away, and it’s going to be hard. But to be able to write down my life in America will hopefully keep me close to the people I am missing, and be a way for my friends to know I am ok.

On a very soppy note, I know that I am going to miss my wonderful fiancé a terrible amount, and I know that it is going to be very difficult. However I also know that when two people love each other enough they can overcome all sorts of obstacles. I am confident in the love that we share and I am sure that we will be fine.

Finally, if anyone wants to skype me, or suchlike, please feel free to message me on Facebook for my skype name and be aware that there is a 5 hour time difference and so at 8pm in the U.K. it is 3pm in Grand Rapids.

Peace, love and madness

Maisie moo x