June 18, 2024

हाय – Hāya (Hi!)
Rayika Karachiwalla is from India, and is currently a freshman at Wittenberg. She will be staying here for the full four years, and I interviewed her about her experience at Witt so far.
Why did you choose Wittenberg?
One of the reasons I chose to come to Witt to study is because [my] sister studied here, too. She just graduated in May, and I’ve heard a lot of positive things about living on campus here. Also, I was on a look-out for a division three college, so I could actively participate on the tennis team and focus on academics simultaneously.
What did you think of how Wittenberg welcomed you upon arriving?
The faculty and students were very welcoming and made it feel like home, which helped me adjust to college life better, and so I’m grateful for having the opportunity to stay here at Wittenberg.
Have you experienced a culture shock?
I’ve visited the USA several times before, so it isn’t much of a culture shock for me. But, of course, living here is different compared to being back home in India. For instance, the way people do things, the way they behave and react to certain things, act independently, are more open minded, and have so much freedom is contrary to what happens in India, where people are less independent and do not have as much freedom.
What is your favorite aspect about living at Wittenberg?
Meeting people from different cultural backgrounds, sharing a room with a person I’ve never met before, [and] eating different types of food are all very exciting experiences for me! This is why I enjoy life at college, because I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t get this experience anywhere else.
And your least favorite?
Not having a car here is quite challenging because having to depend on others all the time to take me to buy things I require on an everyday basis can be quite an inconvenience.
What do you miss the most?
My family is a big part of my life, and I was always accustomed to having a family dinner every weekend back home in India. Not being able to do this and [not] spending quality time with family anymore is what I miss the most. Moreover, my friends play a major role in my life, too. I made some great friends back home, and I do miss going out for movies with them, going out for late night coffees, etc. Lastly, I miss the comfort of staying at my house.
Do you have any trouble with the language?
To be honest, I’ve had no language problems because I only speak English back home with family and friends. Everyone is always surprised when I say that, because you can clearly hear my accent, but I used to go to an international school where everyone spoke English over there. Therefore, communicating in English here with everybody has been great and no problem at all. I do speak Hindi, too, though.
Are you going to stay in the USA after your time at Witt?
I would like to find a job here after these four years at Witt, depending on what I decide to major in, so I can work for a few years and then do my masters degree, hopefully in the U.S. itself.
अलविदा – Alavidā (Bye)

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