Friday, December 13, 2013

From Pakistan to New York

Name: Meera Aladin
School: Fordham University at Rose Hill
Year: Junior           
Major/Minor: Psychology/Biology
Hometown: Karachi, Pakistan 

Laura: As an international student, have you ever been concerned about your safety at Fordham or in New York City?

Meera: I lived on campus my freshman and sophomore years and had a great experience. Fordham’s campus is secure, and I never once felt unsafe living at Fordham. I moved off campus into an apartment this year as a junior, and I love it. Of course, living in any big city, it is important to be aware of your surroundings, but I have never been in a situation where I have felt like my safety was threatened.

L: Is it easy to make friends with the American students?

M: Yes! If nothing else, Americans are probably the friendliest people I’ve ever met. Although there is an international community at Fordham, my best friends here are all Americans.

L: What is one thing you wish you knew as an international student before coming to Fordham?

M: Coming from Karachi, I wish I knew how cold it would get here and what clothes I would need to get me through the winter. I also love eating Pakistani food, and I wish I knew what type of food would be available at Fordham and the surrounding community.

L: What made you initially interested in Fordham and what made you decide to enroll?

M: While I was applying to universities, Fordham waived my application fee. I took advantage of this, and after applying, I did more research online about the University and asked some of my friends who go to school in America about Fordham. The more I learned, the more interested I became in attending Fordham.

L: What clubs/activities are you involved in on campus?

M: Fordham has numerous international students groups on campus. They put together various cultural and religious events for all students throughout the year. I participated in intramural soccer last year. I have also volunteered at a center for teaching refugees English in the Bronx. The center was close to Fordham’s campus, which made it very convenient to volunteer there. This year I am doing an internship at Columbia University’s Child Psychiatric Epidemiologic Group, and it has been a great experience!

L: Overall, how was your experience adjusting to life in New York City and at Fordham specifically?

M: I think my first year here was the hardest, in terms of adjustment. However, I was living on the SILC (Science Integrated Learning Community) floor of Alumni Court South and found a really great group of friends with very similar interests to mine. My professors thus far have been extremely helpful, and I think that played a major role in easing the adjustment process, especially in the beginning. New York City is full of diversity, and there is always so much to see and so much to do. Overall, I have had nothing but a positive experience.

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