The second reason I feel lucky to have studied at Florida State, which might even be a greater deal, is that Florida is the Sunshine State, and is the home of DISNEY WORLD!!! Visiting Disney World was my childhood dream and this is the place where dreams come true! :) People pay so much money to travel to Disney and I could just drive by car to get there! Disney World consists of four parks and I was able to go to two of them: the Magic Kingdom and Epcot. When I first entered the Magic Kingdom, it brought out all of my childish spirit and drew a wide smile on my face all day long!! I went on almost every ride, jumping from one to another to make sure that I got most of them in my precious time! It was a lifetime opportunity, and it was a great deal for me and I felt like I was dreaming! I also had the chance to meet and take photos with my favorite Disney characters like Minnie Mouse, Daisy, Aladdin and Jasmine, and Belle. In addition to exploring different rides I saw the amazing Disney parade, where there’s a dancing show and every character walks around with lovely Disney songs. I was lucky to see the night parade, which was magnificent, with sparkling lights and music...it was just great! I ended the day with best the part: Cinderella’s castle fireworks show!! That was definitely the best day of my life so far!
I also went to the Epcot center, which is another great place to visit. It has a different style with future-themed rides and different international country shows, with amazing landscape views with lakes and flowers. I felt like travelling the whole world in one place! I had lunch in Italy then desserts in France; I then visited Morocco, then later took a jungle boat trip in African forests, and I ending up having Chinese food for dinner! Can this get any better?! We also had a training and simulated travel to the moon!! :) We landed safely though!
I can say that the Disney experience is the best thing that happened to me in the USA and my life (besides getting my Master’s) and I have seen things that I've never experienced in my life. It is certainly an unforgettable, amazing memory and I wish to go back again and again!! I am really grateful for having this chance!
Oh...and I finally graduated!
Having the chance to study in an American academic setting was not only a unique experience, but it also opened my eyes to more opportunities. I can tell it wasn't easy for me especially in the beginning to get used to a new studying system, which mainly rotates around independence and giving the student many options to choose from when pursuing a degree. This decentralized system is also another form of student freedom, which is the reason why the U.S. system produces distinguished students where anyone can have a customized studying plan to meet one’s needs and produce a new, different major.
Mingling with different students (whether international or local) was also a fun experience for me and I learned a lot from them, especially about the way they think and live. It all added up to my academic experience until graduation day, which was my ultimate pleasure and the fruit of all sleepless nights I had!
Zein Al Zomut is a Jordanian Fulbrighter alumna who graduated with an MS in Nutrition Science at Florida State University.