Saturday, October 21, 2017

Hello from Purdue University!

This is definitely long overdue. I've been putting off further studies for the longest time. But I finally made that giant leap, dropped everything in the Philippines, and left to pursue my PhD in Hospitality and Tourism Management. Hello from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, USA!

I have been here for a little over two months now, which makes it the longest period I've ever stayed outside the Philippines, and counting! And I still have a long way to go!

It was a challenge to shift from the professor role back to student mode, especially after eight years teaching at the Asian Institute of Tourism, University of the Philippines, Diliman. But the experience has been very memorable so far, as I work on earning my PhD at Purdue's School of Hospitality and Tourism Management.

There are so many people and institutions to thank for making all this possible: the University of the Philippines System, UP Diliman, Asian Institute of Tourism, Fulbright Scholarship Program, Commission on Higher Education, Philippine-American Educational Foundation, and Institute of International Education. And of course, thank you to Purdue University for the opportunity to study in such a great campus!

Here is some trivia about Purdue University:

1. Purdue University was founded in 1869 with land and funds donated by Lafayette businessman John Purdue. It is best known for its Engineering and Agriculture programs.

2. University Hall is the only one of the six original buildings that remains standing. I have classes here twice a week. Another trivia about Purdue's buildings is that except for two, all the buildings, both old and new, are made of bricks or have bricks in their designs.

3. Purdue has produced 23 astronauts including Gene Cernan, Neil Armstrong, and Gus Grissom.

4. Purdue University has its own airport. Amelia Earhart worked at Purdue because it was the only US university with its own fully equipped airport at that time.

5. The school colors are gold and black.

6. Purdue students and alumni are called Boilermakers. Boiler up! BTFU!

7. It is part of the Big Ten Conference and thus takes its football very seriously! I finally got to watch my first American football game!

8. The school mascot is a train called the Boilermaker Special. The school's athletic mascot is Purdue Pete.

9. The 10-foot drum of the Purdue "All-American" Marching Band is the world's largest bass drum. The marching band has more than 380 members.

10. Purdue's Hospitality and Tourism Management Programs (Undergraduate, Masters, and Phd) are ranked number one in the US by several peer-reviewed studies in the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Education.

Hope to see everyone back home soon. In the meantime, this will be my home away from home!
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