Wednesday, January 6, 2016

International Journey of an International Student

Have you ever experienced two contradicting feelings of enthusiasm and anxiety simultaneously? Moving to a new country engenders a mishmash of such disputing feelings. It generates a feeling of excitement and an anticipation of a new beginning and opportunity to succeed. At the same time, a feeling of apprehension flutters through you. It makes you worry whether you will be able to adapt to a different culture, climate, food and survive in this new environment. However, all these feelings and confusion are worth it and is ultimately a beautiful experience.

I was born in India but at the age of 16, I decided to pursue a different platform of studies. This decision took me to Malaysia, where I enrolled in British and Canadian courses that exposed me to Western education system in a Southeast Asian country. This was a perfect amalgamation to begin with.  I had an amazing opportunity to spend a few years of my life in Malaysia and Singapore, where I had a taste of a completely different culture. While I explored the Western system of education I also learned more about Malaysia as a country with its unique multi-ethnic culture along with the perks of living in a university town. Overall, this experience taught me that studying in a different country and staying away from home exposes you to an entirely new environment and helps you to grow as a person.

I have always been an explorer and my sense of adventure did help me when I first landed in New York. I have lived in different countries, however, those countries were not very far from home and the culture was fairly similar. So I was really nervous to come to a Western country so far away.

At Hofstra I instead quickly encountered multiple chances to meet new people. Everyone is so warm and eager to help you grow that any uneasiness fades away very quickly. There are so many clubs that you can join and numerous job opportunities and a variety of events are organized that truly help you to expand the horizon of your social network. The culture here is different when compared to an Asian country, but I believe that I am fortunate to have this opportunity to meet people from entirely different cultures and enhance my knowledge.  

Studying in different countries definitely comes with its own perks and I would personally advise students to come here with an open mind, have a sense of adventure and try to make efforts to be more proactive when exploring a city and its culture.

Guest Blogger: Aditi Sachdev
Graduate Student, Masters in Industrial Psychology