At initially, Khadija Ghanizada had a hard time changing to the United States.
She was 17 when she initially came to America on a comprehensive scholarship in 2017 to show up at Emma Willard College in rural upstate New York, significantly from any metropolis. That was hard for Ghanizada, who arrived from Kabul, Afghanistan’s biggest metropolis, populated by virtually 5 million folks.
She skipped the hectic street everyday living.
“Slowly but surely, day by working day, I started to make buddies and regulate to American lifestyle, foodstuff and the folks all around me. I viewed American teenager Television reveals to understand about my peers and what they like and dislike,” she mentioned.
Ghanizada inevitably moved 60 miles south along the Hudson River, towards New York City, to show up at Bard College or university, wherever she is a junior. But she nonetheless remembers her early years in the U.S.
Founded in 1814, Emma Willard University is one particular of the oldest boarding educational facilities for girls in the U.S. When Ghanizada attended, even though 25% of the pupils have been not from the U.S., there were no other Afghans — or Pakistanis or other individuals from neighboring Muslim-vast majority nations around the world.
“At Emma Willard, there had been only two of us who wore a headband,” or a hijab, she said. “For me, wearing a headscarf is a straightforward way to maintain a tie to my state. It is not for religious reasons. It is the only factor I can maintain on to and express myself. It allows with homesickness.”
But to some men and women, she mentioned, her headband advised she was a really serious Muslim who prayed five moments a working day.
“I felt not comfortable putting on a scarf all through the Trump administration and its ban on vacation to the U.S. from Muslim international locations, and I imagined of supplying up my headband for my own basic safety,” she stated. “But I held it since it manufactured me feel close to property. I overlook my relatives and Afghan food stuff, but I remind myself that I designed a decision to be here to get a great training and make a future.”
She watches Television demonstrates on-line that she and her household would enjoy at home, these kinds of as the hugely well-known “Afghan Star,” modeled on “American Idol.” She talks with her relatives weekly. She also cooks Afghan foodstuff this kind of as qabili and bolani.
“You can usually go back house, but you can hardly ever get another chance to examine in the U.S., and this motivation aided me overcome homesickness,” she claimed.
More than 1 million international pupils trying to get a earth-course schooling go to school or college in the U.S., in accordance to the Institute for International Schooling, headquartered in New York. They occur to the U.S. typically all around age 18, alone and with out family to assistance them unpack their belongings in their new dorm rooms.
Nicholas Trotman left Barbados for the U.S. to attend significant college at United Entire world University (UWC) in New Mexico. He reported he had a complicated time changing to American lifestyle simply because it was so distinct from his possess.
“I had a gradual adjustment to American culture, food and new friendships. When I came here, I had to get started my lifestyle all about all over again,” he claimed.
“We came alongside one another as global pupils and observed just about every other’s dissimilarities, as perfectly as how a great deal we have in prevalent,” Trotman reported. “And we were being all homesick and could enable each and every other.”
New pals were being crucial to assisting him overcome homesickness, he explained. They grew to become like his household, and he by no means felt remaining out.
Siam Hussain, from Bangladesh, also attended UWC.
“It was tough to modify to a new position, society and people today. 1 matter I am superior at is producing buddies very swiftly and having adapted to the environment and people,” Hussain explained.
Spending time with buddies and retaining himself busy with university served him not dwell on how a lot he missed his relatives. He attempted to not be by yourself. He loves cooking, so he produced Bangladeshi food items, which also assisted.
“It has been my desire because childhood to review overseas, and I have to offer with all these thoughts and attain my ambitions and get a fantastic education,” he reported.