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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

International student life at UMass Boston

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Josh Kotler
UMass Boston students cheer from the stands during a women’s volleyball match at the Clark Athletic Center. Photo by Josh Kotler / Mass Media Staff

For new arrivals to the country, stepping out of Logan International Airport and feeling that chilly breeze grazing one’s face is an extravagant feeling. At this point, one will have to figure what to do next as the student’s next phase of life has officially begun. For students who have stayed with their parents all their life, the challenges can seem quite endless: Moving in, cooking, studying, getting used to a new country with new faces and much more. But slowly, students will figure out how to multi-task between all of these challenges. It does get easier—and I mean a lot easier. Life will suddenly feel like a lot more than the comfort zone we just stepped out of.
Some may be financially independent, but some may have taken out education loans for their studies. Spending resourcefully, while not compromising on essentials, and learning to say no to unnecessary temptations can help students save more than just a couple of bucks. Many students will be missing the comfort of their homes, which is absolutely natural, but this can be successfully addressed as technology can help us keep in touch with our families back home and even help us solve the most complex problems. Even limiting our external expenditures and purchasing from grocery shops like Trader Joe’s, a personal favorite of mine, could save you quite a lot of money while you eat fantastic food without compromise.
Another challenge that international students may have a particularly hard time facing could be the new company they will keep. Hanging out with people are who not like-minded and share the same ideals could potentially put a dent in your mental health, so I would recommend scoping out the different types of people before moving in. No amount of money is worth your peace of mind, and there are more important aspects of this new life to deal with than unwanted altercations. With that said, making friends with people of diverse backgrounds and perspectives is the UMass Boston way, and you shouldn’t shy away from people who are different from you.
Another important factor to a new life at UMass Boston is to recognize the opportunities that the university has to offer. Every time I step into the university, I find that I can completely forget about every problem I face, as the opportunities and activities here are just endless. Spending some extra time with professors after class discussing what needs to be done next week is always a good idea; they do appreciate your interest and are more than happy to help, unless they have too little time.
This may sound cliché, but when going to a university, following a routine can help most students break into the new atmosphere. For example, studying at the university with headphones on can provide a sense of calm, and you can always take a break by the cafeteria and maybe even throw in a gym session to sharpen the senses. It is all about how one breaks down their day and wants to spend their time. I encourage each and every one to make the best of it.
I can firmly conclude that UMass Boston is a great home for the next chapter of the new and international students’ academic lives. For all the ones away from their homes, you are in more than good hands and making use of the many opportunities around will go a long way toward shaping your future. Challenges will come and go, but experiences are only once—and if you have a good one, you will remember it for the rest of your life. Let nothing get in the way of achieving your goals and dreams. I hope that this piece helps students cope with education, emotions and opportunities, and help them to look forward to a great future.

About the Contributors
Preetan Natesh, News Writer
Josh Kotler, Photographer