The difference between Auburn and home can be significant for the over 800 students Auburn Global welcomes to campus each semester from more than 150 countries.
Hemant Sherawat, sophomore in computer science, is a global guide and international student from Mumbai, India.
Sherawat said he finds American individualism surprising. He said in Indian culture, family is valued above everything else, but in America, people move away from home and build up their life alone.
Sherawat said his favorite part about living in Auburn is the peacefulness. Mumbai has a population of almost 22 million while Auburn has about 60,000 people.
“It brings a lot of changes,” Sherawat said. “You can walk around the campus, and you don’t see as many people as you do in Mumbai.”
Adjusting to life on The Plains took time for Sherawat.
“At first, it was hard getting involved with a different crowd and getting connected with people from different backgrounds, but at the same time, it was fun because all of it was new,” Sherawat said.
Sign up for our newsletter
Get The Plainsman straight to your inbox.
While he enjoys the bao from Dumps Like a Truck, Sherawat said what he misses the most about home is the food.
“I miss the spices and the authentic ingredients that burst in your mouth when you have Indian food,” Sherawat said. “I wish that the authenticity of the Indian food in Auburn would increase.”
When he misses home, Sherawat said he surrounds himself with friends.
“We play board games or watch a movie together as a group,” Sherawat said. “I think that my friends here make me feel better whenever I feel homesick.”
Hao Yu, sophomore in visual media, is an international student from China.
Yu said his favorite part about living in Auburn is gamedays because of the crowds of people it brings to Auburn.
“Gameday actually makes me feel [like] I am home,” Yu said.
Yu is an RA for international students. In this role, he said he is able to be a resource for those students who often get homesick or are struggling to adjust to living in Auburn.
Yu encourages his residents to participate in the International Buddy Program to meet other students and to go to different sporting events as well.
He also has recognized that international students often feel excluded from other students.
One resident told Yu he doesn’t feel like he belongs in Auburn. The resident recalled someone asking him to join a fraternity, but because no other international students had joined before, he felt scared and insecure about it, Yu said.
“I found out people on the Haley Concourse who hand out the flyers often don’t hand out papers to people who [are] Asian,” Yu said. “If this were to change, more and more international students would feel included.”
Do you like this story? The Plainsman doesn't accept money from tuition or student fees, and we don't charge a subscription fee. But you can donate to support The Plainsman.Support The Plainsman