We all gravitate towards things and people who provide us comfort, but in doing so, we miss out on the opportunities which allow us to grow. I have always found solace in talking to people who are similar to me and doing things that have a sense of familiarity. However, when I decided to travel to Durham at the start of the MMS program, I swore to myself that I will get out of my little bubble of comfort.
I remember we went to Boxcar Bar & Arcade for our section event in the very first term. Since I had faced visa delays as an international student, this was the first time I was meeting most of my classmates. I introduced myself to those who had added me on LinkedIn a few months ago, hoping to at least be acquaintances if not friends. Little did I know that we would become such close friends! In the first few weeks of the program, I was able to meet so many different people from around the world and have fun experiences with them.
At Fuqua, there are so many opportunities to learn more about different cultures and experience the diverse nature of the program. Both my previous team from the fall and my current one for the spring were comprised of people from different backgrounds and countries, which makes working on assignments even more fun as we talk about our unique experiences.
Perhaps the most exciting part about life at Fuqua is the Fuqua Fridays. Different clubs organize these weekly events where all programs at Fuqua can meet, eat food, and play trivia. My favorite Fuqua Friday was The Grand Bazaar organized by the Asia Business Club, INDUS, and the Greater China Business Club. In the spirit of celebrating the global culture of Fuqua, the various diversity clubs organized events such as a cultural fair, an international alumni panel, and a global-themed Fuqua Friday.
It is hard not to love the varieties of food from different parts of the world in and around Durham. Coming from India, I hardly ever used chopsticks to eat food. However, my friends from China introduced me to hotpots, which soon became my favorite meal to eat. I also love visiting Goorsha, a restaurant that serves traditional Ethiopian cuisine—enough to make your mouth water. Additionally, my classmates and I have had potluck parties to taste the multitudinous kinds of foods that we’ve never tried before.
Being a Fuqua student also means that you have all access to all the events which the greater Duke community organizes. From pumpkin-carving around Halloween to Duke’s Diwali celebration, there is a lot to explore about different cultures. As an international student, I had never experienced a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner. Duke’s International House connected us to local families so we could celebrate Thanksgiving with them!
When I think about Fuqua, I will always think about the warmth that the people here exude, and the sense of community and belonging that I have always felt during my time here. Its international diversity makes it an amazing melting pot of cultures.