Thursday, September 24, 2015

Friends Become Family When Studying Abroad

By Tanmayee Potluri
Student Ambassador, 
San Jose State University

It was August 13, 2010 – my first day in the U.S. I think I’ll always remember that day. I had so many questions running through my mind: Where am I? What am I doing? Did I do the right thing by coming here? Then, I met a group of people who would soon become my closest friends.

When I was taken at San Jose State University and received my student visa, the next step was to look for people to travel with and make new friends. One way I did that was by exploring and joining relevant college groups and communities on social media sites like Facebook, Google, and finding my class page on LinkedIn (for example, SJSU Fall 2010). It was a good way to stay informed about what I didn’t know about my university, and also connecting with other students who were traveling from the same country as me. I wound up finding a group of students who were willing to meet up, which turned out to be a very pleasant and exciting experience. I also found a great roommate to live with in the U.S.

My roommate and I flew together to the U.S., and I consider us as having been brave since we entered this country without having any living accommodations near the school. Luckily we were able to find a place to stay temporarily, but I strongly advise students to have this process finalized before they arrive. It was because of my friend that I was able to stay calm through all the hassles we faced.

Sometimes it takes someone going through the same experiences as you to understand your problems and help you get through them. As I faced homesickness and other challenges in my move to the U.S., it was my friends who really took care of me. I could always turn to them to study and cook with, watch movies, listen to music, or just talk. You should also be ready to support them in return when they need you.

In the end, it’s all about meeting new people twho can affect your life in so many positive ways. When you are all alone in a completely new place, your friends become your family.

Tanmayee Potluri is a product manager at Intuit in Mountain View, California who came to the United States from India in 2010 to pursue her Master in Computer Science degree from San Jose State University, which she earned in 2012. She previously worked at IBM, also as a product manager, for two years. She describes herself as a self-motivated individual who is passionate about work, her career and technology. In her free time, she enjoys meeting new people, cooking, traveling and learning something new.

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