We have the great opportunity of featuring Anurag Chandran as a guest blogger. Hailing from Dubai, Anurag journeyed to Mizzou to pursue his dream of becoming a broadcast reporter, focusing on International Relations, Politics, and Foreign Policy. As a freshman studying Journalism and Political Science, Anurag has definitely found his place on campus through Mizzou’s many organizations and activities. Here, he shares some of his experiences and answers common questions international students have about studying in the USA.
Packing up my bags and suitcases prior to travelling to the United States, I was filled with an overwhelming sense of excitement and in all honestly, a significant amount of nervousness. Questions arose from the depth of my mind, bringing up doubts that I never had. Will I fit in? What will the Americans think about me? Will I miss home? Added to all this was the trauma of commuting over 20 hours to get to my destination, Mizzou. Almost a year later, I am proud to say that none of those questions that troubled my mind persist anymore and in fact I am very pleased to call Mizzou my new home.
These days I wake up every morning curious and excited to uncover how my day would progress. Looking back to my first day here, that is a stark difference! On my first day, filled with apprehension, I sat in my room until a few of my floor neighbors came knocking at my door sensing that a new resident had arrived. I wouldn’t have ever dreamt that I would be greeted so well. They were all curious to know where I was from, how things worked or happened at my hometown in Dubai, what my hobbies were. But what surprised me was that they were more interested in acquainting me with the American culture and references. Every one of my friends was eager to help me with my transition and I really treasure that. And after that first day there was no looking back! I learned about everything ranging from American football to Mizzou tradition and in a matter of days I began feeling completely at home!
One of the best aspects of Mizzou is that if you are interested in getting involved, there is an organization for you. I have an eclectic range of interests and hobbies and surprisingly I found clubs and organizations for all of them. Being a dancer, I really wanted to continue learning and all I had to do was ask around. I was given a list of the several dance groups; I picked the one that interested me the most and after trying out became a member of a Hip Hop dance crew called Official. Next, I have always been curious about how law works in America. All I had to do was attend an activity fair and I found information about Mizzou’s Mock Trial team! To further my leadership skills, I decided to try running for a few posts and now I am a student Senator in the Missouri Student’s Association as well as an Executive Board member in Residence Halls Association. Further, I always hoped to one day be a part of a big philanthropic institution, and that’s when a couple of friends introduced me to Dance Marathon, an organization that raises funds for children with special needs. Basically, the opportunities here are so immense and varied that I wish I could be a part of it all, but realistically, with over 700 student organizations, this wish will only remain a dream.
The emphasis on diversity and equality here at Mizzou is brilliant! You can be from any region, have any faith and have any preference but ultimately you are a Tiger and that is the treatment that every student receives which is highly commendable and one of the characteristics of Mizzou that attracts me the most!
I wouldn’t be doing justice to myself if I fail to bring up the beauty of this campus. During all seasons, the beauty of the Mizzou campus is unrivalled! The columns and the Memorial Union are staples of this campus and significant architectural beauties.
Everyday there is something new happening be it a talk, an event or just the distribution of free goodies. These are just some of the features that make being a Tiger an incredible experience! I’ve been here only for two semesters now but the immense experience and memories that I have gained are definitely worth a lifetime! Guess its safe to say, I am a very proud Mizzou Tiger indeed.
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