Do you remember the 1987 film RoboCop? You might not have realized that the story was set in Detroit, where Wayne State University (WSU) is located. The movie depicts the city in a futuristic dystopia, as a hotbed for criminal activity. In reality, however, Detroit is a city that holds many different cultures within, and, like the city, WSU does, as well. Wayne State is a school where you can meet students from many different backgrounds and cultures.
Introduction to Wayne State University
According to information available on the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, Wayne State University is a nationally recognized metropolitan research institution located in the Midtown Cultural Center Historic District of Detroit, Michigan. Founded in 1868, WSU consists of 13 schools and colleges offering more than 380 academic programs to nearly 28,000 graduate and undergraduate students. It is currently Michigan's third-largest university and one of the largest universities in the United States.
Detroit: Where WSU is Located
Detroit is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Michigan, and Metro Detroit is the 14th most populous metropolitan area in the U.S. In the early 20th century, Detroit became a significant metropolitan region with the expansion of the automotive industry. At one time, the city was the fourth largest in the U.S. After peaking in 1950, however, Detroit has considerable population from the late 20th century to present, due entirely to the end of the boom in the automotive industry. Along with this decline, many parts of the city have been abandoned, with some areas lacking basic services. However, Detroit is trying to recover and turn into a better city to live in.
Campus Life in WSU
How dangerous is Detroit?
Statistics on violent crime show that Detroit is one of the most dangerous cities in the U.S, and students who study at WSU may have cause for be worry. A UOS student Chul-min Park (School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, ’10), spent one semester at WSU as an exchange student. He said that Detroit was not as dangerous and risky as he thought it would be, although school administration cautioned against taking public transit or going around alone. He also pointed out that conditions have improved in recent years. “About 10 years ago, every store had iron bars on the windows to protect themselves from robbery. But few stores have them now.”
How is the overall atmosphere?
Many students with different racial and ethnic backgrounds come to WSU from all over the world, and the percentage of local students is relatively low. Detroit, however, also has a history of racial and ethnic division, and Park said that one of his friends has experienced discrimination.
Park said that one of the biggest reasons he chose WSU was the low cost of living. There are many high quality, yet affordable restaurants near the campus.
What are some of the useful places on the WSU campus?
Talking about the best places to study or socialize at WSU, Park said that he often went to the Student Center to study with his classmates. The Student Center features an open architecture with many study rooms connected to each other, allowing students to easily share what they are learning. Once, while he was studying with a friend, he met two college women who were watching Korean television programs. He talked to them and offered to teach them Korean. Soon, they became friends, and through language exchange they found many opportunities to interact with each other.
How should students prepare before going to WSU?
Park said that his main purpose in studying abroad was to speak English without fear. Park said that anyone who is about to leave should listen to English as much as possible to settle into the new language environment. The people of Detroit use a lot of local, colloquial language, so practicing some of the expressions used in daily life is better than studying only from a textbook. He recommended watching American dramas such as Modern Family and memorizing phrases that are commonly used English in conversations.
A Wayne State Graduate Speaks!
While Park went to WSU as an exchange student from UOS, at least one student has come the other way. Abdulmajid Qublawi, who recently graduated from WSU, is an exchange student at UOS.
Qublawi, who is originally from Saudi Arabia, says that studying abroad may be one of the most beneficial experiences for any college student. At Wayne State University, which is one of the top universities in the U.S., students will have the opportunity to study in a foreign nation, learn a new culture, and meet new friends. Students will also learn how to depend on themselves and experience real life. Wayne State University hosts many conferences to help students learn more than they would only through their classes, and to provide opportunities for creative collaboration.
Qublawi adds that Wayne State is perhaps best known for its research and engineering programs. He says that the location is excellent because it is located in central Detroit, with residences close to campus, along with shops and grocery stores within walking distance of the school. At the same time, there are fun activities, with the riverfront nearby. Thus, Qublawi adds, Wayne State combines the academic excellence of a major research university with the practical experience of an institution.