by Kadam Chudgar, Edulix Member, (2001) Graduate student ITT Chicago USA

One major advice I would like to give to new students is do not freak out with the freedom you get here. Remember what you are here for in the first place. One more thing, watch your waist line here and exercise in the gym as the food here is so delicious that it can make you fat without you realizing it.

I feel that the worst part of a student’s life here is cooking for himself/herself. The trick is making friends with people who are good cooks. I worked in the college cafeteria three days a week and I made friends with the cooks there who lived nearby and also other servers like me. They used to invite me frequently to their homes for dinner on holidays and other days. So I got to sample different cuisines from different countries like Mexico, China and Middle East. I, being a food lover, totally loved the whole experience.

Moreover, I had different kinds of friends from different countries. This is what made it so exciting. We would totally freak out in the weekends doing all kinds of stuff like going for movies, driving to a nearby place and spend the weekend there. I was in Denver, so one weekend we drove to Aspen, Colorado and we had great fun learning hot to ski and taking photos of each other falling and in all kind of funny positions. Personally, I think none of us learned how to ski and believe me, it is very hard. But the amount of fun we had has been worth the money and the time we spent. It was truly an experience of a lifetime.

One other funny instance I could remember is going to an Irish pub, having Guinness (which was actually quite good) and dancing and singing till late night as it was karaoke night that night.

On Mexican Independence Day, my Mexican friends and me had Tequila shots and Mexican food the traditional Mexican way. I loved that, too. Please note that drinking in the U.S. is prohibited for everyone under 21 years of age. So undergrads, please do not try this as it would get you into trouble.

As you see, my experience in Denver has been so much fun. The climate here has been excellent, professors great and the people simply marvelous.  I have made many lifelong friends here and now it is very difficult for me to leave Denver for Chicago. 

My advice for all new foreign students is that involve yourselves in college activities beside studies and you are sure to make many friends and get popular. Also, do not hang out with just students of your community, but reach out to students of different countries and you will learn a lot more than you can possibly imagine. 

Yalcin from Edulix Team had once rightly advised me that one aspect to grad school was networking. It helps after you graduate if you have good contacts.

US education is not only about studying hard and getting jobs. It also teaches you some lifelong values and you should also definitely enjoy yourself here.

Especially for people suffering from culture shock and home sickness, it is all a state of mind so do not worry it will pass away.

I would like to wish all future students of this great country the best of luck and hope that all of you reach here safely and enjoy the experiences as much as I am.

I was privileged to have so many friends and relatives in America before coming here so the transition was very easy for me. But I believe that it is still my responsibility to share and help my fellow students in any possible way. I hope you will do the same to help other students once you make it for yourselves.

And, I would like to thank Edulix for allowing me to share my experiences with all of you whoever could benefit from it. I will be providing my two cents on some tips during application process and traveling to the US... See you soon!

Kadam Chudgar
Graduate student
ITT Chicago