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USAFA Exchange Program Part 1

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2021) Permanent link   All Posts
Stephanie Burckhard

It’s almost midterms! But wait, it’s not even October? Yep, I am at the US Air Force Academy this semester, and they started classes in the beginning of August. I am absolutely loving my time here so far. It’s a great experience that I will never forget. Recently, I took an Airmanship class called “Powered Flight” in which I had four flights in a T-53a. I actually flew the airplane! Don’t worry, there was an experienced pilot in the seat next to me. But I did get to log several hours of flight time through this program. I was able to successfully land the aircraft too! Thanks to this program, I am now considering aviation later on in my career path. This semester exchange program has already taught me a lot and I’m grateful for all the opportunities I have been given. One of the biggest challenges was moving from the smaller environment at USCGA to the much larger cadet population here. I challenged myself to move out of my comfort zone and sit with new people every night at dinner. There hasn’t been a day where I haven’t met or someone new.

The classes here are on a different schedule- they call it “T” and “M” days and essentially this means that it’s not a set schedule every week like at USCGA. It was difficult getting used to this new schedule but with a syllabus in hand, I was able to manage the new change. The major-specific classes here are about 15-20 cadets but the general classes have nearly 35 cadets. The professors here are fantastic. One of my professors is an exchange professor from South Korea! Another thing I learned in my time here is that cadets can go on exchange with civilian colleges in foreign countries for a semester. Some of my friends went to Japan or France for a few weeks over the summer to take more language classes in that specific country.

I am loving my time here and will add some more blog posts about this program. Reach out if you have any questions!