What! Three more weeks till the quarter is over? Already registering for winter quarter?! That’s all I’m thinking about right now and how fast time is passing by!
Hello Loyolans! My name is Eman and this is my first quarter at Loyola University Chicago, as well as my first blog! 7 weeks ago, I moved from Egypt, my home country, surrounded by all my friends and family, all the way to Chicago where I am living all by myself, barely know anyone and back to school after 3 years, to do my MBA. Easy? No. Worth it? 100%.
With all the excitement that I had, I still had fears coming to a new city. Will I be able to cope in this new environment? Will I be able to keep up with the American lifestyle? Will I meet interesting people and make good friends? Am I going to fit in? How will I be treated? The list goes on and being an international student, I was worried about the transition. Day by day, however, I realized that I have a lot more in common with the students at Loyola and with people I meet than I had expected. The transition has been much easier than I imagined.
Thanks to the amazing support from the Graduate Assistance Department, who put a lot of time, consideration and effort to welcome and prepare international students for the next two or so years at Quinlan. In addition, they also helped organize orientation events for all, not just international, graduate students. During international orientation, I met a lot of people who are in the same boat as me and as we all met up for our weekly international training sessions, set up by the University, we sort of indirectly became a family. We don’t see each other much, but knowing that there are familiar faces is very comforting. I’m learning about different cultures and getting a chance to speak about my own. Actually, one Chinese student asked me if I was a princess from Egypt! As flattered as I was and wanted to go on with this assumption, I explained that we do not have any Royal family and that I am a regular Egyptian citizen.
I have also been meeting new people during classes and in the social events organized by Loyola students, which I am enjoying very much. Everyone I have met has been really nice and I quickly became more comfortable with my colleagues and felt that I am a significant part of my program. I also took part in several networking events in preparing for the Career fair at Loyola, and that was very new to me and extremely rewarding. Everyone at the Career Services Department was very helpful and supportive. I met with several Quinlan and LUC alumni, who are very successful today, and they were nothing but humble and genuinely reaching out to help each one of us who participated. The Career Fair was a great event where I met many amazing people from great organizations.
As for my move in process, things seemed scary at first but I quickly noticed it’s not that bad at all! In fact, living in Chicago has been extremely easy and convenient, people are always helpful and friendly and really do want you to get what you need done; all you need to do is ask, and someone will definitely help you out. The city is actually, starting to grow on me . Chicago is like the perfect balance between living in the city and also enjoying the quiet neighborhood environment. Exploring different places in Chicago and learning all about the city has been allot of fun. Of course the food here is a whole new topic; the first thing I ate when I came to Chicago was the Chicago style hot-dog, best hot-dog I have ever eaten in my life, had no idea how special hotdogs were here!
I can go on and on but I will leave it for my coming blogs where I will be sharing with you more and more about my beautiful experience at Loyola and in Chicago; I’m especially interested to see how I will handle the winter here, I have invested in a really heavy coat in preparation!
Till next time 🙂