Earlier this month our family attended Northern Michigan University’s “Experience Northern”. The idea of the event was for future and prospective families to stay in the dormitories, tour the campus and see all what NMU and Marquette have to offer. We have been to Marquette, the city where NMU is located many times and my dad and two brothers attended NMU so I am very familiar with the university and the city. I was impressed with how much building has taken place on the campus and the development of Marquette. It is one of the few towns in the UP (Upper Peninsula) that is growing.
We were happy that Owen liked the school and decided to study there! The NMU admissions office was friendly and helpful and the university is a good size, not too big and not too small and has a lot of different programs to offer. Owen is undecided with his major and I think that he is in a good position to find a major. We also feel he will be protected. The Northern Lights Dining facility has a solid meal plan and living on campus his first year, he will make friends and feel part of the community. NMU is accepting Owen’s IB scores of every grade 5 and above, so he passes out of several of the required freshman courses. The UP will be a new cultural experience for him as well. We have lots of friends and family who can help if he runs into trouble or needs something.
Marquette’s population has been holding steady since the 1960s, which is rare in the Upper Peninsula. Many of the small towns are losing population. The university, a good hospital and the scenic beauty of the forests and Lake Superior are helpful to attract people. I think that with climate change, it will continue to slowly grow over the decades. The challenges of Marquette are its distance from other population centers, the still cold and long winters and the lack of career opportunities. It is in the “snow belt” and receives almost 4 meters of snow per winter. Summer temperatures average around 19 C and winter -8C. We are looking for homes here to have as our US base. With such cold winters, we want to keep our place in tropical Santa Cruz, Bolivia. 🙂
We had some good meals in the dining room, took the tour and spoke with lots of students and employees. I think we got a good feel for the university. My brother came up on the second day and we had a nice dinner at Vango’s, a Greek/Italian restaurant downtown. We walked to the top of Sugarloaf mountain just outside of town to soak in the beauty of the lake and those endless UP forests. We also visited with David Gregory, Jim’s former roommate at Northern and a long-time family friend. We drove back to Caspian in the evening. It is about a 90-minute drive from my childhood village to Marquette.
We are excited for Owen’s next step and are working this summer to get him ready. I would like to thank everyone at NMU for their kindness and support and all of my friends and family who offered their guidance and care for Owen while he is in Marquette and we are in Tashkent.