Posted on October 9th, by risser in Sadia Aurna. 3 comments

When you go to a new place, whether it’s a new city/new school/new country, everyone needs to make some adjustments with the new things they’re naturally faced with. There may be things that bother you, but still, you try to adjust to them.

Beginning college is an adjustment for everyone, but being in a different culture and country presents some different challenges. So I thought about it. What are the top things that are new for me — both the exciting ones and not so exciting ones? Here it goes:

1.     Greetings. “Hi, how are you? I am great. Thanks. How are you?” … and maybe you are going to get the answer or maybe not. This whole greeting thing is something that I was never used to. Back home, (Bangladesh. If you have not read my first blog, then please do!) whenever we ask how you are, it means actually we want to know how you are doing.

Chinese friend cooking food

My friend, cooking me some delightfully spicy Chinese food!


2.     Bland food. Foods that are made without many spices are the main reason I think I feel lost at least for one hour a day. Being a vegetarian, it’s even harder. There are special days when our dining hall does serve different foods that make both the international and domestic students feel a bit more at home, and I realize they have to cook for all the students, not just a portion of them. In the new Center for Student Life, there are also other new menu options. I think all the students should check them out (or maybe find a friend who will make you some food with Chinese chili paste, which is hot and full of taste.)

3.     Silverware. In Bangladesh, we eat with hands and use forks and knives very rarely. I miss using my hands. Sometimes I’ll just start using my hands to eat. If that bothers you, please let me know.

4.     Digitally drowning. Blackboard, digital book, and tons of emails — these are things I never used while I was in school or high school. I had to use email when I worked in a production house and for applying to different universities, but checking email/Blackboard for everything from a change of classroom to giving replies to professors is something I never had to do. Sometimes I get so many emails that I don’t think I can even read each one of them. So if somehow I have missed your email, let me tell you this: I haven’t done it intentionally! I am trying to get used to it. Hopefully, by the end of this month, I will do better than I am doing right now.

Dinner at Dr. L and Dr. E's house

Dr. L and Dr. E invited us to an evening at their home!


5.     Professors. So far, they are extremely friendly, nice, understanding and kind. Back at home, conversations with professors are normally restricted to textbooks and academics, with few exceptions. Here, my professors and advisors, are some of my greatest allies. From having dinner at their house to talking about the latest episode of “Game of Thrones,” I’m enjoying getting to know them.

6.     Weather. Findlay’s climate is very different from my Dhaka. Every time I say, “Hey, it’s really cold today.” My American friends remind me that it’s not even winter yet. It’s true. But winter is coming and I am not prepared for it. I have never seen snow and I am equally terrified and excited for it to happen.

2 Taka Note

7.     Money. By nature, I am a person who spends a lot even though she doesn’t have that much. In my country, a taka (the basic unit of Bangladeshi currency) is really small.  One taka is equal to .012 US dollars. But one dollar equals almost 82 takas. So I am spending money like it’s nothing and getting broke. Things are really expensive here. Let me give you a small example. From Columbus to Findlay the taxi fare is between $250 to $300 ­— that’s almost 24,600 takas! Yes, I am not joking! This is something I am really trying to accept.

So, let me know – what are the things you are trying to adjust to? If I come up with some new things, maybe I will do an “Adjustments, Part II.” So please share your story through the comments section.

3 thoughts on “Adjustments

  1. Thank you for sharing your experiences, Aurna! It can be quite a challenge to adapt to a very different culture, but you are doing a wonderful job getting involved in your classes and in many activities outside the classroom. I hope you continue to enjoy your adventures at UF!

  2. Thank you for sharing all these insightful nuggets about your transition from Bangladesh to America. You have educated me greatly on some of the cultural differences! Keep writing.

  3. I was referred to go through your blog and it is quite an enlightening one, many thanks to you for that even though it is part of your professional training as a journalist. I will love you tell us how do you cope when you are broke. What are those things that are really expensive in Findlay? Are there reasons to travel to Columbus for academics or just for site seeing. Its nice to hear all this from you. It help to prepare one’s mind for challenges.

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