The statue of a man reading a book. Near the entrace of Grainger Library there is a statue of a man reading a book about the future. Besides the inherent creepiness of suddenly meeting him at night while walking near the library he also has his own twitter account.
Traffic lights. In many traffic lights instead of a walking/stopped little men you only read WALK / DON’T WALK. Less friendly for foreigners.
During a year there I could count with the fingers on one hand how many motorbikes I saw.
Street names are usually written on plates that hang from the top of horizontal traffic lights at crossings. At the beginning I wondered why people referred to addresses and meeting points as “Henry and Main Street”. Once you are in the street looking at a traffic light you will invariably see the name of the street you’re crossing through. Interesting how small details like this influence how people behave.
Many of the campus buildings have hurricane refugee signs on their entrances. However after tlaking to someone who had been living in Champaign for 8 years she told me that she had only seen a hurricane in the area once. While I was in Japan the earthquake signs weren’t there without a reason.
For some reason the salaries of specifically UIUC employees are available online. The highest paid person in the university was some kind of sports director with a salary of more than 10 million dollars per year.
US universities measure students grades with a 4 point scale based system called GPA.
Students are usually indebted after they finish university. Owning 40,000$ to banks after graduating is not unheard of.
A typical US university student that graduates has studied a major, which is the main subject they are studying, like Computer Science, and a minor, which can be something completely different like philosophy or arts.
At UIUC there are university supported vans that carry you from one point of campus to another at night. With the amount of sexual assaults that I saw it’s not a frivolous service.
Cars are bigger in the US than in Europe which made me feel less important during my pedestrian routes.