Adapting to a new country


Erika Ward

 Sai Sudha Gavini, a graduate student at Western Illinois University, allowed the Western Courier to take a sneak peek into her daily routine as an international student.

 Originally from Vijayawada, India, Gavini is in her third semester as a graduate student studying computer science.

 Gavini said that it is difficult to come to a new country with different cultures and food and that Macomb is very different than her hometown.

 “Here it is a little tough for me because I’m from India, where the culture of America is very different,” Gavini said.  “Everything is different compared to my country.  I needed to adjust for everything. Now, I am very comfortable.”

 Every morning Gavini wakes up and does yoga. She said that this keeps her fit and energetic throughout the entire day.   

 After yoga, she goes to work at One Stop Rocky Shop, the convenience store located in the University Union, as a student worker.  In March of 2015, she was given a Certificate of Appreciation and was announced as the Student of the Week by her coworkers and manager.  

 “I felt very happy and excited when they announced about my award,” Gavini said.  “My manager, she’s very friendly.  She’s very good to me.  I think, for that reason, I’m so adjusted with them.  I’m not just adjusted though, I’m very comfortable with them.” 

 She is one of the only international students from India to be given this certificate.

 Gavini said that it’s difficult to come to a new country while still performing well in class and holding a job, but that she has been successful and established a routine. Gavini started becoming accustomed to life in the U.S. and her favorite movie is I, Robot.

 “Now when I look back, I just feel like time flies with my daily routines,” Gavini said.   

“(I) wake up, do yoga, have my job, coursework, assignments, projects, exams, recreation, altogether which makes my day a beautiful one.”

 Gavini said she has an inspiration that she strives to model herself after.

 “I like serving people, so my role model is Mother Teresa,” Gavini said. “I like her very much. I like her service.”

 Vineel Sai Simharaju, a classmate of Gavini is very appreciative of her and her hardwork.

 “Sudha is a very helpful, energetic and active girl,” Simharaju said. “She is emotionally strong in any tough situation which is a quite appreciable quality.  Every student who comes to study abroad, leaving their parents and home town should have  (this quality) in order to have a healthy life style.  She is quite an inspiration.”

 Gavini also gave some advice for any students who are looking to study in a country different than their own.

 “First is to know the culture,” Gavini said.  “All countries are different from other countries.  We should know everything. The second thing is to adjust.”