Going To College As An International Student

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By Kassel Franco Garibay

Attending college in the United States has always been a dream of mine. The concept of living in dorms on campus, choosing my own classes, joining student clubs and pulling a few all-nighters in the library was fascinating to me.

It has been a little over a month since I have been at Drew and sometimes I still have the urge to pinch myself to make sure everything is real. It is still odd to think that I can finally leave behind the terrible memory of taking the SATs and completing endless amounts of paperwork – all things which come with being an international student.

Drew is a completely different experience than what I had expected, it is incredible how fast I started calling the Forest my home. Though “Taco Tuesdays,” using Fahrenheit, and the overwhelming variety of PopTarts flavors are difficult to understand for me, I love it so far. Observing how oddly passionate my peers are about Harambe only enhances that fact.

Of course not everything was perfect from the beginning. During orientation week for the international students, we were thrown onto campus with no map and no sense of direction. I remember trying to guide myself through the maze of ferns and identical brick buildings. However, the day the American students moved in, we all woke up to signs in convenient locations. This was not the only coincidental issue we faced. Other problems occurred when we were told we couldn’t rent books from the Drew Bookstore while domestic students could.

Despite the minor shortcomings, overall this month has proved to be everything I hoped for and a little more. I’ve travelled inside a yellow school bus for the first time and even experienced the pumpkin spice craze. Even though there is not a single day I don’t miss Mexican breakfast, I am glad to have finally made it here.

Kassel is a freshman with an Undecided major.

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