I still remember the unnerving feeling I had when I stepped into Brandt Hall for the first time. Here I was finally, in what was to be my home for the next year. As I stepped in through the door into the Brandt Social lounge, we were greeted by huge half-clad footballers. I remember being very intimidated by the footballers, but the feeling was put to rest after one of them offered to carry my suitcases up to my room which was on the third floor. I remember going into my room, and thinking of how we would be able to fit three people into it, let alone be comfortable in it. A lot of questions were running through my mind that first night… What if I don’t get along with my roommates? What if I get really homesick and just want to go back to the Maldives? What if I don’t make any friends at all?
Looking back to my first night here, it makes me laugh to think how funny our mind always jumps to the worst conclusions when we are in a new situation. My room actually turned out to be quite comfortable after my roommates and I remodeled it. Speaking of which, I am lucky to be sharing the room with two amazing and lovely people, Elliot and Ben. They have been quite understanding of our cultural differences and have been putting up with all of my questions about America, most of which revolve around football.
Luther College has an amazing Diversity Center which goes out of its way to make international students feel welcome and at home. During our first week here, the diversity center took us to Walmart so that we can buy necessities and random stuff to furnish our rooms with. They also took us bank so that we can set up our bank accounts in the States. In addition, the diversity center helps the international students with the tons of documents which have to be filled in initially, a task which would have been extremely challenging if not for the help from the wonderful staff from the center. I still stop by at the center at least once a week just to have a chat with the staff at the center. I hope that one day I will be able to work there as part of my work study and help other international students get settled in Luther College.
On top of everything, I have made a lot of wonderful friends here already. Friends coming from every corner of the US and of the world. Everyone I have met on campus so far has been super-friendly and they put an active effort to know more about where I am from and my culture, which I appreciate a lot. I can’t begin to imagine how much I would be missing home right now if not for the warmth and easy going attitude of everyone around me. But instead, they have helped me build a new home here in Luther College.
Have a great week,
P.S: Tune in next week to hear what I did during my fall-break here on campus.