What Are Global UGRADs Looking Forward To?

At this point in the semester, Global UGRADs from around the world have settled into their new homes in the United States. With the stress of relocating to a new country now behind them, most are now looking to the months ahead and have a great deal to look forward to. Here are a few examples of what they have in mind for the coming months:

Jose Bernardo posing with Utah Tech’s mascot

I want to join more sports activities with friends from the same class. For now, I like the pickleball game. It is a very interesting game, and I like it because it’s new for me and I learned how to play it very quicklyAfter class during the week, at night, most of the time we go play in the park here with friends. The first time I was freezing and my hands froze because of the cold. Now I wear gloves, am super comfortable, and can play normally. I also joined some clubs here on campus.” – Jose A. Bernardo, Mozambique, Utah Tech University

I like it a lot here. The courses I’m taking are extremely interesting, the people are very nice, my roommate and I are getting along well, the place is great, and university life is as well. I am looking forward to keeping it this way, doing a lot of sports, benefiting from the university’s resources to improve myself to the maximum, doing some community service, exceling at my studies, visiting my aunt in Michigan, visiting New York and Washington, DC, and many more things and activities. – Jad Chahrour, Lebanon, West Virginia University

“It has been two weeks since I arrived at Kansas State University. I never imagined that these two weeks could be so hectic in every possible positive way. Honestly, I did not believe that I was actually in America until I arrived in New York. Everything is so big: cars, food, smoothies, lunch, breakfast, houses, cities, clothing size (e.g. sneakers and T-shirts), and even course assignments! And the same goes for people. Of course, I did not mean they are so big in height, but they have big hearts. Most people just say ‘oh, they are so kind!’ But I don’t think it is because of kindness. Americans in Kansas have a very good sense of understanding with an obvious common sense. When I felt shy to ask for directions, they were aware enough to initiate help first. There is no such thing called ‘Later or maybe tomorrow’ here. An outstretched hand in Kansas is never left empty or without support here. I can be vulnerable here and share my story with pride because I know they all have untold stories to share but sometimes it is really okay to be the first to do so.

Maftuna Uraimshikova with fellow UGRADs and international students at Kansas State University’s orientation

Besides that, I am looking forward to experiencing the education system and classes this week. When my classes started, I felt I didn’t really know a lot, but being willing to learn is key here. Additionally, I loved the fact that people are punctual and value time by getting organized with different planners. I am super excited to learn more!” – Maftuna Uraimshikova, Uzbekistan, Kansas State University

“I want to express that my first two weeks here at UA have been amazing. I am glad I was placed here as the environment is friendly and very helpful. For my bucket list, I believe there is so much to be seen in the United States that four months won’t be enough, yet this is my primary list in addition to DC: New York City – Times Square, the statue of liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, Rockefeller Center, Dallas – Dealey Plaza National Historic Landmark District, and one or two parks in the city, Miami – Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, bayside, in addition to one or two parks, Orlando – Disney World, old town, Icon Park, Atlanta – Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola, & Sky View. I understand and I am aware that these activities are a lot and I might not be able to do them all, yet I will do my best to choose the ones I want the most and try at least one amusement park.” – Ibtihal Ben Said, Morocco, University of Alabama