My name is Kashmira Sheth.

"It was exciting to try something different and new, and it was an opportunity of a lifetime."

Mumbai, India

Ames, Iowa




And then what were some of the cultural differences or similarities that you noticed in the U.S.?

So interestingly, we came to Iowa, and we didn't have a place, so we stay with my aunt's parents, and on a farm. Oh, and that was, you know, for a few days. And that was a very interesting experience. You know, I was born and raised vegetarian. So you know, it just having this farm experience, and things was different. But you know, what I noticed the most was, how families are same, you know, there's a lot of love. And I remember my aunt's dad wanting me to try root beer, and I thought it was beer [laughs]. He used to call me Sparky. And he said, “Come on, you can, you know, drink this, try it, you'd like it.” And I said, “No.” And then, you know, my aunt and uncle said, “Yeah, that's, that's okay. You know, it's not a beer, it's not beer.” That was like, but the family, the warmth of the family, you know, that was there. And that's one thing I just people can be from anywhere.

So I feel like when I got the [admission] letter, you know, it was the hardest decision, you know, do I want to go leave my family? I have a younger sibling, my brother, and my parents, and of course, all my friends and my grandparents and my cousins. And do I want to come here. But in a way, it was exciting to try something different and new, and it was an opportunity of a lifetime. So, I remember being scared and being excited both at the same time. Like, do I want to do this, and I think the hardest part was leaving my parents and, you know, my family, my brother, he was just getting to be old enough to be more of my friend than annoying little brother [laughs]. And then I had to leave so. So that was, I think the biggest thing for me on my mind, at that time, rather than worrying about cultural.

It was kind of um, bewildering. Because I, you know, I went, you know, I didn't realize the campus could be so big and spread out. And there is a central campus and the buildings all around, and I remember asking somebody for schedule, and nobody could understand me and asking for lift, and nobody, you know, and then I climbed up, you know, three stories up, or four stories, yeah, and was out of breath, because I had, you know, I just did not know, but then I saw it, somebody coming out, and I realize it was there. But, you know, just the language part can be a problem. That was, I think, the biggest thing, and then, of course, figuring out the campus, it took me a while. I had a class in microbiology, that's my major, and then I had a dance class, which was really, very close to me, but I did not know at that time, because I had never explored that part. So, I would go around, and every time I would get in late, and I just wondered, how can you walk any faster than that to get to that place. So I figured out [laughs] that I was going three fourth of the way instead of a quarter of the way, so.

If somebody is you know, maybe rude, don't assume that everybody is, you know, just yeah, take your time and, and see what it is like, before forming an opinion. I felt like, people were helpful, you know, the first two days when I asked people they were looking at me, you know, but they didn't understand me. And then I realized that later, it wasn't like, the lack of empathy or anything, you know, willingness to help me just that, you know, I probably have a accent and different - think that they have never heard the word, you know.