As I brace myself to move abroad for the first time in my life, I look back and I know that squeezing my life into a suitcase and leaving my comfort zone was the best decision that I could have possibly made. Because when you move away, you turn your life into a journey filled with uncertainty, you grow up in unexpected ways. You face new challenges, you get to know parts of you didn’t know existed, and you’re amazed at yourself and at the world. You learn, to broaden your horizons. You unlearn, and after coming down and embracing a few lessons, you start growing in humility. You evolve. You feel homesick… and you shape memories that will stay with you forever. From the moment you decide to move abroad, your life turns into a powerful mix of emotions – learning, improvising, and dealing with the unexpected… All your senses sharpen up, and for a while the word “routine” is dismissed from your vocabulary to make space for an ever rising adrenaline thrill ride. New places, new habits, new challenges, new people. Facing a new challenge should terrify you, but it’s unusually addictive. You’ve always been free, but freedom feels different now. Now that you’ve given up every comfort and made it work thousands of miles away from home… you feel like you’re capable of anything. It’s rightly said that “Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith”.
Imagine traveling to a country where you know no one. You arrive on campus and don’t have any friends or know how to negotiate around the campus. You might not even speak the language well. This is the life of a new international student. Most international students attend a university for the entire duration that it takes to complete a degree (typically three- four years for a bachelors or one-two years for a masters). One of the biggest challenges students face is to cook healthy meals as most college dining services will always serve pizza, cereal, salad and French fries – with other main unhealthy dishes rotating. Monday might be taco night with Tuesday lunch being a baked potato bar.The food culture is so different. "The first week, I enjoyed having pizza and pasta and American stuff, and I realized that I gained a lot of weight and ruined my health, then I decided that, no—I'm not going to eat all this junk stuff anymore." Most international students tend to flock towards the French fries and pizza – as they may seem like “comfort foods” or just really good tasting foods. A lot of these foods are unhealthy. This was when I realized how important it is to know how to cook basic healthy and nutritious food.
To be continued..
Author: Mohit R Trivedi
Manager Instructional Design and Training Delivery