Some people say that home is where the heart is. It is not just about the sense of belonging to a place or a person, but also following our bliss, doing what we like. Sometimes, “walking home” involves moving to another country, adopting a new culture, and speaking a foreign language. This process would be easier if we had a guide and a friend to accompany us in this journey.
Perhaps this is the primary role of the International Summer Institute (ISI); not only to ease the transition of international students to life in the United States, but also to help them feel that they belong in their new home.
During the period of my one-month commitment with the International Summer Institute’s series of academic English programs, I had a wonderful experience attending an event to meet and greet one of Illinois’ state representatives. Together with colleagues, Yoes from Indonesia and Yi-Shu from Mainland China (PhD candidate in Statistics), we went to a wine store near the Jarvis CTA station, simply 15 minutes away from campus by train. The following post will comment on the organizer, activity, and my post-event reflection based on my field observation.
Still within the spectrum of fascination, I would like to discuss one of the many programs and facilities that Northwestern University (NU) offers its students for academic trouble-shooting. Help is always available as long as we go and ask for it. The brief account of my recent activities in the following paragraphs serves to give a clearer picture.
When Hamas militants and Israel were exchanging rocket fire and airstrikes on Thursday, 17th of July, the Muslim and Jewish communities in Chicago were busy sharing their prayers and meals.
It was two weeks ago when I started to pack my stuff for a journey to the United States. My mind was filled with various thoughts, a mix of excitement, thrill, joy and anxiety. It was very similar to the atmosphere in Indonesia at that time, in which people were drawn into a political twister of presidential campaigns, the euphoria of World Cup and the start of Ramadhan. However, I was ready to put aside all those matters for a while, to depart to the U.S. and to start my one-year fellowship program.
English short course for the 2014 Arryman Fellows offers an interesting way to adapt with the local culture.
I feel that I am a particularly lucky student to have a chance to be an Arryman Fellow. The Arryman Fellowship that has enabled me to attend Northwestern University is a well-designed program to prepare me to be a full time graduate student. People might say that the first months living in the United States to start in higher education is a challenging experience, but I would say that I have a different story.