“We are in the right place”

By Aram Ahmed

Moving to a new country is a completely new experience because you see different people, different cultures and completely different ways of living.

When I moved to the United States, I saw the American culture which is completely different from my own. I had never been far from my country, America is the first place I’ve lived in outside Kurdistan, my home region. I’ve seen that studying and living here is quite different. As a student when you start studying in a new university, you always face some challenges and some differences from the previous one. For me the difference was big because I am from a region in which the educational system is different.

When the Fulbright committee told me that I will be studying at St. Michael’s College in Vermont, I was not very happy. I thought it is a small university thus it may not fulfill my goals. However, I asked many people about the university and I was told that I would like it. When I finally came here, I found I could not wait for classes to begin. I went to explore the university and I liked everything about it. On the first day of the orientation, I met some very friendly people and it made me so happy. Since I started studying here, I have seen something new and positive every day. I like the staff, faculty, the courses I study, the library and the environment.

One more thing which I was worried about was I was thinking that studying in a Catholic college for a Muslim might be difficult, but it is not! I feel that the university is so inclusive. They are so helpful. Now, I consider myself as a member of the community. After the first week, I told my friends that we are in the right place. The St. Michael’s small community is so open. I love that everybody behaves in a way that we are all one family and we have to help each other.

I have to say that I am having a great time here. I think I will be more involved with the activities here because I feel home at St. Michael’s College. The beginning of graduate study is always difficult and challenging but the great help the staff give and helpful professors have made everything so easy.