Right now I’m sitting in the Michigan Union, a building part of the University of Michigan. There are small lounges everywhere for students to either eat, have a chat or just do some studying. Currently a student is playing the piano in this lounge, entertaining the few sitting here with quite some good play. It’s one of the many things I’ve never seen in a university before. I guess there are a lot more differences to come over the next couple of month.
Ann Arbor itself seems to be more of a university with a town, then a town with a university. The UoM runs their own bus system, has their own public safety service for their student houses, owns parks and forests and most of the major buildings of the town. They even own a big clinic, the major clinic for this area.
Downtown is very diverse with new and old buildings, but they match each other quite well. The style is very American, kind of what you know from movies shot at places like Harvard or Princeton. You find a lot of boutique shopping as well, not that many chain-stores. The food courts offer the ordinary American junk food, like expected and are placed mostly in the basements of the buildings.
But the city is still quite empty, as not that many students have come back for the semester. Quite some apartments are available for lease and a lot of notes are up on the boards from people looking for flatmates.
But the emptiness is ought to be gone soon, when about +40,000 students will be in Ann Arbor studying. Then the Unions are supposed to be crowded and not so quiet anymore. We will see.
So far I like it here very much, as you probably could have guessed. Not only is the city nice as described above, but the people are very kind and easy to get to know and the weather has been good so far as well.
That’s it for now, I’ll go and grab something to eat.