Leisure opportunities on campus
The Social Life comes to a high priority at American universities. The range of leisure activities at universities and colleges is correspondingly diverse.
Many students spend much of their free time on campus. This is especially true for Bachelor students, who are generally more active in clubs and student associations than Master and Ph.D. students. The latter tend to be more focused on studying and less involved in US campus life.
Student clubs and organizations
Student groups and clubs are inextricably linked to campus life in the United States. In American universities there are groups on just about every topic. Many universities have more than 100 clubs. Those who join a club get to know other fellow students and often make connections more quickly.
Although the individual clubs are different, several types of student organizations can be distinguished:
- Academic and subject-related clubs: At every university there are clubs that are assigned to the academic departments or individual colleges. They offer students the opportunity to exchange technical information and are a good opportunity for networking. Some of these associations with academic relevance are only accessible to students with excellent academic performance (Honor Societies).
- Political clubs: Political student organizations are also widespread. Members identify with a particular party or discuss issues affecting regional, state, or national politics. Often the clubs also have an influence on the cultural and political life at the university.
- Cultural connections: Cultural groups are not directly related to studies. It is primarily students who come together here who feel connected due to their ethnic and cultural origins. The clubs are also open to those interested in delving deeper into a culture. For example, depending on the university, there is a Spanish Club, an Indian Students Association or an African Student Association. Cultural groups often organize events to introduce their own culture.
- Religious Groups: Religious groups are also part of campus life in the United States. The members share a common belief or they are interested in a particular belief or worldview.
- Leisure and sports clubs: American universities have their own sports club for almost every sport. The offer ranges from ice hockey to martial arts to Quidditch. The sports are offered at different levels. There are also a large number of leisure clubs such as board game, hiking or debating clubs.
- Social groups: Social groups that share a common civic commitment are also common at American universities. The members provide community service in neighboring communities or districts and try to raise awareness of certain social issues.
Student Fraternities in the US: Fraternities and Sororities
Phi Delta Kappa, Sigma Phi or Kappa Sigma – student connections can be found at almost every university in the USA. They are traditionally separated according to sex and can be divided into ” fraternities ” (brotherhoods) and ” sororities ” (sister creations). The members of a brotherhood or sisterhood often live in a common house on campus.
Student affiliations in the United States have a centuries-old tradition. Each house is usually named after two to three Greek letters. For this reason we are talking about the so-called Greek system. Depending on the connection, the members are involved in social causes, do voluntary work in communities or share a common academic commitment. Because of this, membership in a Greek Organization often looks good on a résumé.
However, fraternities and sororities are not only known for their engagement, but also for their infamous Greek parties. In the United States, the law does not allow you to drink alcohol until you are 21 years old. Therefore, many bachelor students come into contact with alcohol for the first time at the Greek parties. The media mostly report on student connections in connection with alcohol and drug excesses and sexual assault. But reducing Greek Organizsations to wild parties misjudges the community character, the often extensive alumni network and the commitment of many student associations.
In general, American fraternities are a great way to meet other students, experience campus life in the United States, and plan activities together. However, students usually have to pass several admission rituals to become a member, some of which are described as discriminatory and harassing. In some cases, the admission process takes several months.
In addition, there are usually not inconsiderable membership fees for membership. Prospective students should therefore consider in advance whether they want to join a Greek Organization.
Events on campus in the USA
Boredom doesn’t come up so quickly at American universities – not even for students who do not want to join a club or student association.
The so-called Orientation or Welcome Week traditionally takes place at colleges and universities in the USA before the start of the academic year. International students receive useful information about their studies and are shown around the campus. In addition, the university or the International Office usually organize various events such as barbecues or excursions in the area during this time.
During the semester, international students also have the opportunity to take part in various activities, be it excursions to famous sights or day trips to amusement parks.
Cultural and sporting events
Events and events take place at American universities throughout the semester. Quite a few universities have their own museums, concert halls, cinemas or art galleries. Film evenings and readings, concerts and band contests, theater and dance performances alternate.
The atmosphere is particularly exuberant during the many sporting events. Whether basketball, football or hockey – when the university’s own teams compete, there is an exception at American universities. Tickets are usually available free of charge for students. The demand is correspondingly high.
American college parties
Of course, parties are also an important part of campus life in the USA. Learn more about USA and North America on zipcodesexplorer. Some universities are even known as “ party schools ”. There is a strict ban on alcohol in American student dormitories. Nevertheless, sometimes unofficial ” dorm parties ” take place in the dormitories.
In larger cities in particular, there are various nightlife options in the vicinity of the university that students are happy to use. The famous house parties that regularly take place in the Frat Houses are also very popular. Many parties have a motto. There are, for example, “ Toga Parties ” or “ Anything But Clothes Parties ” – “ABC” for short.
The so-called spring break is the party highlight of the academic year. American students use the one to two week short vacation in March or April to party extensively. In the USA there are various places where party-willing Bachelor students particularly like to gather. Many students are drawn to Florida, for example to Panama City Beach. Other students end up in Cancún in Mexico or on the Caribbean islands – also because there are less strict alcohol laws than in the USA.