Tuesday, October 13, 2015


Hello all!


My name is Panav Hulsurkar and I am an international student and a Global Ambassador for International Programs and Initiatives at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
I will be blogging about everything related to living and learning here at UAF and the United States of America, from the point of view of an “alien” :D
If you are a prospective international student or just a curious soul, you will find a few interesting things here!

My experience as a tropical dwelling creature, leaving the comfortable 25°C (77°F) weather in Pune, India to travel to the other side of the world to -37°C (-34.6°F) to Fairbanks, Alaska, temperature- wise, was shocking.

My first step out of the airport wasn’t a comfortable one…
It didn’t take me long to get used to it, though

I had never left my native India (apart from that one trip to Nepal when I was 8) and I knew it was going to be an exciting adventure for me. Thanks to the internet and the unwavering ripple of westernisation that has been traveling East, I already knew a lot about the USA, its culture and people. As my departure neared, an air of nervousness and doubt started to creep in with all my friends and family visiting me, giving me gifts and saying their goodbyes

I guess most of us go through this phase of uneasiness when we are about to start a new, a very different chapter in our lives. But when you persevere through that last crest, you rarely regret your decision. 

(L) I got a lot of stuff, including a loofah from a friend who wanted to remind me of them every time I took a shower

All the research and reading I did before I left for Fairbanks was not going to prepare me for its sheer beauty and all the amazing people I met here. This is one of those places where you can only truly experience when you actually are there. The climate, wildlife, the bizarre day- night cycles, the very welcoming people and of course, the best light show on Earth; The Aurora Borealis!

The Office of International Programs (OIP) is the usually the first official place you visit and file your immigration documents (documentation that says you are a legal alien in the US!). It sounds a little intimidating, but the staff at OIP makes the process anything but intimidating.
Sue Wolfe (L) and I at OIP. Sue was cheerful and very involved. She would always put a smile on your face

The International Programs and Initiatives staff
L- R: Jo, Donna, Joanna, Nicole, Carol and Reija

Everyone at the office is kind, helpful and welcoming. First impressions are very important and I am glad that the OIP was my first formal interaction with UAF!

No comments:

Post a Comment