Today, I want to take some time to talk about the dormitory I am staying at: AI House. Now, before discussing this, I want to first mention that I have been inside dorms before in the US but for most of my academic career, I was living off campus. One interesting difference I noticed is the layout. In the American dorms I’ve been in, the dorm layout was a series of halls with rooms in them. That is not the case here. Each floor is an open space with every single room openly visible. There are no halls to go through.
Another thing I noticed was the sinks and showers. In the US, the dorms had sinks in the bathrooms. Here, the sinks are spread out throughout the open space and are out in the open. There are no doors to close them off. The showers in the US are usually in the communal bathrooms or all concentrated in one shower room. Here, they are spread around the floor in little shower rooms with two showers.
Now that I have discussed some of its physical characteristics, I want to talk about the people that live in it. Back home in California, I attend one of the more diverse universities in the state and nation. However, I think that pales in comparison to the diversity in this building. I have met people from all over the world in this building. For example, my neighbor on the left is from Finland and the one on the right is from Thailand. I have met people from France, Italy, England, various parts of the US, Mexico, Chile, Korea, China, and the Netherlands to name a few. Before this, I have never met people from some of these backgrounds. It is so nice to learn about their backgrounds. It takes me out of the bubble I am so used to being a part of. That is what I think makes this place stand out to me. It is as if a huge chunk of the world was shoved into one building. I look forward to going on adventures with many of these people and I hope that our friendships will go beyond this program.