UPenn – An Intro

7 February 2019

One month into her year abroad at the University of Pennsylvania, Marianne shares her exciting travels and plans coming up!

marianne blog

Today marks one month since I stepped off the plane at JFK to accept Miley’s invite to a year-long Party in the USA, Ivy League style. Quick train from NYC to Philly and before I knew it, I was starting life as a Penn student.

Marianne Swain football pitch

 They won’t let you forget it! You may have to buy your own textbooks, but you better bring an extra suitcase for the Penn merch– Penn tees, college tees, wall hangings, stationary, mugs, calendars, food, concert tick

ets, sports tickets…you name it! Everything to make you feel part of the Penn history. At the end of the first week all new students are invited to Convocation -a chance to hear the University President give some remarks and enjoy the Glee Club rendition of the school song: HURRAH, HURRAH, PENNSYLVANIA. You’re now in, join the club…     

The campus is a delight - think tree lined avenues guaranteed to look beautiful in every season. There’s plenty of opportunity to enjoy marches down the University streets accompanied by the Penn band and the waving of your college flag.

It would be easy never to leave the comfort of the campus. Everything you need is within the boundaries of University City. There are dining halls, coffee shops, you can do your laundry and your post here. If the freebies aren’t enough you can head to the Penn bookstore and fill up your wardrobe with just about any item of clothing you can think of, duly marked with P.

Marianne Swain Boats

But I didn’t make the transatlantic voyage to stay in a ten block radius. One month in and I’ve had the chance to spend a weekend both in New York and on the Jersey Shore. (Both are incr

edible.) Next week? Washington DC and Baltimore! Buses are cheap and opportunity plentiful so I’ve made it a mission to cover as much ground as possible. As a history student with a focus on US politics, I’m in heaven. This afternoon, the Penn Democrats are heading to a Midterm rally, featuring Barack Obama himself. In October, I’ll be hearing Michelle Obama talk about her upcoming book. In November, Joe Biden and Nick Clegg are coming to speak to us on Foreign policy (and all the Brits get a personal meeting with Clegg!). Not a bad start.

If politics aren’t your thing, then you can find whatever tickles your fancy nearby. Into art? Penn organises free trips to the Philly Museum with dinner and a chance for you to run up the Rocky Steps! Music? Last week I used my free tickets to see Owl City – worth it just for fireflies. Philly has a bunch of music venues guaranteed to accommodate anyone’s taste. Philly itself has so much to offer, and after one month there’s a strange sense of feeling both completely at home and incredibly excited by all the new things I haven’t seen yet.

Just getting started – but this sure is some American dream.

Marianne Swain Beach Volleyball

By Marianne Swain