Home for me is 9750 miles away. Naturally, the decision of moving away to college was a huge one. It meant missing birthdays, holidays and basically everything else. However, it also meant a new country, new friends and a new journey.
I am from Mauritius, a small island in the middle of the Indian Ocean (yes the one east of Africa. You know, on the other side of the world!) Don’t blame yourself if you never heard of it before – your years of studying geography did not go to waste! Transitioning from a small island to a country whose states are bigger than my entire country is indeed a big change. Sure, all the travelling I’ve done all my life helped, but I knew I was going to miss my family.
I remember the sense of happiness and satisfaction that filled me when I first landed in Orlando in January 2010. I was super excited to start a new adventure at F.I.T. I like to say that F.I.T was fate for me, because it’s the only school that I didn’t do much research on, and I hopped on a plane only three months after deciding I was going to college in the States. I didn’t really know what to expect, didn’t really know how the people would be, how the atmosphere would be, or how the professors would be.
And then I was here. From the moment I stepped outside of the car, I knew I was meant to be here. It WAS the place to be. Every day that went by only confirmed how terrific a school F.I.T is. I was pleasantly surprised by the warm and friendly welcome that I received. FRIENDLY! That’s the word – everyone was so nice and very willing to help. People would greet you everywhere and did I mention how helpful the staff was? (AND STILL IS!!!) And you know what’s the best thing about all of this? Not for the slightest moment did they make me feel like I did not belong here.
F.I.T brought me some of my most favorite people. Every day is a new adventure here, and thanks to the small campus, every single day you’ll meet someone new. In the end, you know almost everyone around – and that’s an awesome feeling about a college. These are one of the numerous reasons why I chose F.I.T. It gives you this cozy, homey atmosphere and you feel like you always belonged here. (Sure, sometimes I feel homesick, but it never lasts too long.)
Now, you must be thinking, “Oh but she didn’t talk about the academics!” I just have to say a couple of things about classes actually. To KNOW that your professor knows your name is an amazing feeling. Why? Because if you give it a thought, thousands of other students do not have this privilege, because they are sitting in lecture halls of around 200+ people. Throughout your college years, you will feel like you have the undivided attention of the professor. All of your questions will be answered and the professor will ALWAYS be available during office hours. Now, seriously, if you want to succeed academically, what more do you need?
If you’re still worried that you will not survive as an international student here, well I have some good news for you – YOU TOTALLY WILL. I have never seen any university incorporate international students as much as F.I.T does. I cannot emphasize enough on how nice the people around here are. All you have to do is say hello and smile from time to time.
REMEMBER: You are here because you BELONG here.