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Exploring Ann Arbor

Anjan Kumar Krishnan with his sister.   | Photo Credit: HANDOUT_E_MAIL

Anticipation, excitement, prospect of seeing and experiencing something new… that was enough to keep me on the edge of my seat during the flight…. I was on my way to Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.

After overcoming my jet lag, I started exploring what the town and campus had to offer (really helped by the free bus rides, being a student and all). With abundant help and assistance from the friendly locals, and with a map, I was able to find my way around and explore the town. When I feel lost, everyone’s willing to stop, point to the map and say ‘This is where you are now’.

Michigan time

The university has three major campuses, the North Campus (Engineering, that’s where I went), Central Campus (Downtown Ann Arbor, Arts and Sciences) and South Campus (Athletics, The Foot Ball field). The lecture halls and buildings are spread out and you better be prepared to run for a while if you are running late for class. The concept of ‘Michigan Time’ helps too.

Every single class offered by the university starts 10 minutes later than scheduled to help students taking consecutive classes to make it in time. If you do end up scheduling back-to-back classes in North and Central Campuses, it’s not impossible, and the Michigan Blue Bus will always help you get there.

The course options offered here is mind boggling in terms of choice. Over here, it was your responsibility to choose your classes and make sure you are on track to complete the programme, a major difference from what I was used to. Even if you are admitted to a particular stream of study, by way of cognates or minors you can pick and choose other subjects. The libraries and department computer centres are running 24/7, and it really helps when turning in that last minute assignment (Thank You Duderstadt Library!!).

Many number of companies come to the campus during the career fairs organised by the university. The university’s career services also assists students in finding them good work experiences through internships.

My experience here has been truly great and, it has been a lesson in confidence, which I gained with the support of some friends here. When applying, I would highly recommend doing it as a group, with someone who is just as keen to apply as you are. I was very fortunate in having exactly that support, be it marking the time and deadlines, understanding financial planning, compiling helpful course material to practice for the standardized tests like the GRE, TOEFL.


In the end, more than saying it was a fruitful two years, which it was, I would sum it up better if I said it was gratifying. I will tell everyone, when needed let someone open doors for you. I couldn’t have done it without the support of my folks back home and my sister who was here in the U.S., who helped me out more times than I can count. Honestly, there is nothing that makes them happier.

The writer completed his Masters in Mechanical Engineering in 2012 from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2021 9:06:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/education/college-and-university/exploring-ann-arbor/article4090223.ece

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