Food items, Tradition Enable Homesick Learners Stay Linked

At initial, Khadija Ghanizada experienced a challenging time modifying to the United States.

She was 17 when she first came to The united states on a full scholarship in 2017 to attend Emma Willard University in rural upstate New York, significantly from any metropolis. That was difficult for Ghanizada, who came from Kabul, Afghanistan’s major town, populated by nearly 5 million men and women.

She missed the chaotic road lifestyle.

“Slowly and gradually, day by working day, I begun to make friends and adjust to American tradition, foodstuff and the persons close to me. I viewed American teenager Tv set demonstrates to discover about my peers and what they like and dislike,” she said.

Ghanizada finally moved 60 miles south along the Hudson River, towards New York Metropolis, to attend Bard Higher education, where she is a junior. But she even now remembers her early several years in the U.S.

Launched in 1814, Emma Willard Faculty is one particular of the oldest boarding educational facilities for women in the U.S. When Ghanizada attended, even while 25% of the students were not from the U.S., there were no other Afghans — or Pakistanis or other individuals from neighboring Muslim-the greater part nations.

“At Emma Willard, there were being only two of us who wore a scarf,” or a hijab, she stated. “For me, putting on a headband is a uncomplicated way to maintain a tie to my state. It is not for religious explanations. It is the only thing I can keep on to and convey myself. It will help with homesickness.”

But to some folks, she explained, her scarf suggested she was a critical Muslim who prayed five occasions a day.

“I felt awkward carrying a scarf for the duration of the Trump administration and its ban on journey to the U.S. from Muslim nations around the world, and I imagined of offering up my headscarf for my have protection,” she mentioned. “But I stored it for the reason that it made me feel near to residence. I pass up my family members and Afghan food stuff, but I remind myself that I produced a alternative to be below to get a very good instruction and make a foreseeable future.”

FILE - Performers sing during the popular television music competition "Afghan Star," in Kabul, March 9, 2017.

FILE – Performers sing all through the well-known television audio competitors “Afghan Star,” in Kabul, March 9, 2017.

She watches Television set exhibits on the internet that she and her spouse and children would look at at house, this kind of as the hugely preferred “Afghan Star,” modeled on “American Idol.” She talks with her household weekly. She also cooks Afghan food items this kind of as qabili and bolani.

FILE - A young Afghan street vendor prepares bolani (fried bread stuffed with potatoes) at his stall in Mazar-i-Sharif, July 14, 2018.

FILE – A youthful Afghan street vendor prepares bolani (fried bread stuffed with potatoes) at his stall in Mazar-i-Sharif, July 14, 2018.

“You can always go again property, but you can never ever get yet another option to analyze in the U.S., and this motivation helped me get over homesickness,” she reported.

A lot more than 1 million worldwide pupils trying to get a environment-course training show up at faculty or college in the U.S., according to the Institute for Intercontinental Education and learning, headquartered in New York. They appear to the U.S. typically about age 18, alone and devoid of family to assistance them unpack their possessions in their new dorm rooms.

From Barbados

Nicholas Trotman left Barbados for the U.S. to go to high faculty at United Globe University (UWC) in New Mexico. He claimed he had a challenging time modifying to American culture simply because it was so distinctive from his very own.

“I had a gradual adjustment to American lifestyle, foodstuff and new friendships. When I arrived in this article, I experienced to begin my daily life all in excess of once more,” he mentioned.

“We arrived alongside one another as global pupils and noticed each and every other’s discrepancies, as very well as how much we have in prevalent,” Trotman reported. “And we have been all homesick and could assistance every other.”

New good friends ended up critical to serving to him defeat homesickness, he said. They turned like his family members, and he by no means felt still left out.

From Bangladesh

Siam Hussain, from Bangladesh, also attended UWC.

“It was really hard to alter to a new place, culture and men and women. 1 point I am fantastic at is producing buddies pretty swiftly and acquiring adapted to the environment and individuals,” Hussain mentioned.

Spending time with pals and trying to keep himself hectic with college assisted him not dwell on how considerably he missed his family members. He tried to not be alone. He loves cooking, so he built Bangladeshi food, which also served.

“It has been my aspiration considering the fact that childhood to review overseas, and I have to offer with all these emotions and realize my targets and get a great instruction,” he reported.