Globally thinking, one leaves his or her country with the idea of experiencing a better educational system and a better future ahead of him or her. Others are expected by their home country to study abroad in order to come back with a better education and training to serve their nation and share the knowledge acquired.  Many international students also come to the U.S. for the fact that they receive some scholarship from the institution attended. This was one of the main reasons why I decided to study in the U.S. in the first place.

Just like anybody about to embark on a new adventure, I was excited to take the plane and start a new life. I remembered walking down the hallway when I saw my mom starting to shed some tears while trying to hide behind my dad’s broad shoulders. Just like any other male individual, I pretended to stay strong and just turned my head and faced straight ahead. Once on the plane, I was reflecting on all the good moments my nearest and dearest had the last few weeks before my departure.

Unfortunately, in order to succeed in doing something, you will have to make some sacrifices. I did not realize what my country had to offer until I was living in exile.  Indeed, within a few months of my arrival to Michigan, I started missing the white sandy beaches together with the mountain ranges where I use to go hiking every other week. In this period of transition (topic to come in another blog post), I eventually came to think more about my family and friends. I gave more importance to the values of friendship and family spirit eventually as I was the only Mauritian representative at my school.

It was the end of my Mauritian life and the beginning of being an international delegate. There would not be any Dhal Pouri Roti or Samosa (delicious dishes/snacks) ready for when I come back from school. From now on, I will be exposed to the traditional cafeteria, pizza delivery and last but not least McDonald’s.

Mark Chung Kwan Fan is a first-year international graduate student from the island of Mauritius. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Student Affairs and Administration at MSU’s College of Education. His interests vary from Latin American culture to student affairs in the context of international education. Mark also serves as Orientation Intern at the Office for International Students and Scholars (OISS).