Ein Mann hält ein Papierflugzeug aus einer Weltkarte in die Höhe

... in Illinois, United States of America

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, USA

During his bachelor studies, Vahidin Omerovic spent a semester abroad at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. For us, he answers questions about his study abroad.

WU Student in Illnois. He enjoys the wheather with a couple of friends.

You spent an exchange at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. What was your personal motivation for doing so?

  • For me, it has always been a dream to travel to the USA since I was a child. I was always fascinated by the American culture and the country, and my big goal in life was to explore this "new" and for us Europeans still relatively "unknown" world on the other side of the Atlantic. When the opportunity arose for me to spend a semester abroad in Illinois, the decision was very easy. I personally chose the University of Illinois because I was convinced by the academic offerings and the typical American campus life at the university. I was able to experience the classic American college experience first hand.

How was your arrival in Illinois? How did you experience the campus of the partner university?

  • I arrived at Chicago O'Hare International Airport and was immediately overwhelmed. Everything was much bigger than expected. The cities' infrastructures, as well as the architecture of the buildings, etc. speak for themselves. It was like you know it from movies. Chicago is also probably one of the most beautiful (and cleanest) cities in the US and you immediately feel like you have arrived at the right place.
    I took the train from Chicago to Champaign (about 2 hours). Champaign is a rather small place, but that's what made the university so excellent. The university takes up half of the city. On the way to the university, you pass a bridge crossing where "Campustown" is written, and that says it all: namely that the campus of the university is a whole small town. It is not comparable to what we know at WU. Here you live at the university, so to speak. A small town which consists of 95% students only. The campus is also beautiful with lots of green space and many leisure activities. Above all, however, the brick houses have done it to me very much. You feel like you've stepped back in time. Really, really beautiful!

Can you say something about the academic offerings? Where are the differences to WU?

  • The academic program at UIUC is extremely diverse and differs from WU in that you can also take courses from departments other than Business or Economics. Therefore, it is not surprising if you suddenly take a history course with a biology student (vice versa). Many of these interesting courses can also be easily credited as electives at WU. So there is something for everyone!

I made a lot of new friends in the US and was able to convince some of them to spend their semester abroad in Vienna. It's incredible how quickly you can meet and network with people from all different corners of the world (from Chicago to New York to Barcelona or even South Korea) in such a short amount of time. You make new friends for life! #famILLy

How did you spend your time away from the university?

  • Away from the university, I traveled a lot in the United States and was able to see different places. However, I also spent a lot of time in Chicago with locals I met at UIUC. The university offers a lot of entertainment every week (from sporting events, to concerts, to movie nights on the Main Quad, to trips to neighboring areas) which makes the time there fun and exciting!

Would you recommend a semester abroad in the USA?

  • Well, I don't have to think twice about that: DEFINITELY! The USA is a very exciting and culturally diverse country where there is a lot to discover and learn. The American universities are ahead of their reputation! Studying in the USA is a valuable experience and by far the best thing that has happened to me in my life so far!

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

  • Location: Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, USA

  • Population Urbana-Champaign: approx. 207.000

  • Number of students: approx. 44.087

  • Exchange level: Bachelor, Master