My name is Vinod Bavishi.

"I did not know which part of the world I'm going to. I mean, I knew I'm going to San Francisco. But I did not know it was East, West, North or South. I just thought I'll get there."

Ahmedabad, India

Dayton, Ohio



Princeton, New Jersey



Yeah, the two surprises, one, never been to airplane myself. So that was one surprise, how in the world this equipment would take me halfway around the world. And the second. I mean, the kids laugh at Jay and our daughter [inaudible]. I mean, they laugh at this. But I did not frankly, I did not know which part of the world I'm going to. I mean, I knew I'm going to San Francisco. But I did not know it was East, West, North or South. I just thought I'll get there. No direction. So I mean, first time you are flying, you don't have any idea what would it take and we went through the airline of being Japan Airlines, they gave us a stop at Tokyo free of charge. So we stayed, I had one of my buddies from the college we traveled together, he was also coming to America first time. So we both landed in Tokyo for a day and then San Francisco and did not have any clue. I mean he–I think my buddy had brother in the U.S. so he knew at least where he was going. But in my case, I have no idea where I was going. Travel agent get us a ticket and I was on the plane.

Yes, first of all, it was very cold. I was not prepared for…I did not have overcoat. It was February and the snow was on the ground. So I did not prepare for that I had that jacket, but I did not have a overcoat or gloves and, and, and the cap and so on. So that was the one adjustment. Secondly, through magazine and also we had a neighbor's son in Dayton, Ohio, who was going to give us housing for a couple of days until I figured out on campus or wherever I need to live. So, the gentleman, neighbor’s son, he was engineer, he met us at the I mean, he met me at the bus stand and took me to his house. And so it was a pure Gujurati meal, our own Indian food because of the family. And then he helped us with–he helped me with getting housing on near campus and so on. He knew some people. So he said, “Why not you talk with them.”

So in the beginning, the snow was a surprise. And, and the clothing I was not prepared for and, and having Indian community available right away to receive me and help me put the first couple of days helped me and then I found two students at the same state university who were–the school was getting off the ground, so they did not have campus housing, so we were living like 5, 10 Miles maybe away from the campus. So I found two students from Mumbai, living there with American grandma. And there was a room available, so they were able to and they were going to the same state schools. So it was so convenient. Because it is such a good community. That word got around it. I'm looking for housing, and then one call led to the other and within two three days, I was all settled to get a housing roommate. I mean, they were like, three rooms upstairs. Grandma lived downstairs, she had a very good experience with Indian students. She liked Indian food, lady, maybe 75 years old lady and we all called her Granny. And, and it was wonderful for like, I don't remember exactly but around $40 per month, and the kitchen, included our own groceries, but it was the she covered the utilities and so on. We can use her phone for emergency. And we lived upstairs, three students lived upstairs. And it was very positive environment from day one where I can stay with them, with my two Indian roommates and then go together to the campus. There was a bus private bus, 10 miles also away from the campus. So we all go walk together for like 10, 15 blocks. We take the bus to the school in the morning and come back together in evening. That kind of a ritual, that kind of regiment I will say, came about within a few days of my arrival.

Yeah. First of all language, pronunciations we are not used to, India is a British pronunciations. And we speak too fast. I think those are the two adjustments we have to make by trial and error. Because you know, we don't speak, I mean, I personally did not speak English as well. I mean, I studied in my own native language, my college there was no opportunity in India in my hometown to speak English. I mean, we all spoke local language. And if we try to speak English, the friends will make fun of you because they think you are superior to them and so on. I mean, it was considered that somebody was trying to show off. So there was no place for us to practice. I mean, you couldn't afford to take lessons and so on. We did not have television at home. So we cannot hear English stories only thing English we learned was the from cricket English commentary of the cricket we hear on the radio that’s the only exposure we had with English and maybe some movies once in a while. English movies we have seen, there was some language experience, but we did not have a pronunciation clear, and we spoke too fast. So those are the two things we had, even if you make a phone call in the early week, first week, make a phone call. The other side would say, are you speaking English, you have to spell it out one word at a time and so on. Eventually, we can hang up it. I mean, in the classroom also, I did MBA. So in the business school, you are required to participate. And we are very shy at beginning we don't speak English. We don't know what to say. And we lose some points because we have not said a word in the whole semester. So it was by necessity English we learned but in the beginning first week or so it was a fish out of water kind of a situation.

Yeah, there are two places one on the campus. Anybody you see South Asian face, you start talking because everybody wants to know who you are and what you're studying and what courses you're taking and so on. There's one place you connect very quickly. Second place in those days, there were no movies online. I mean, there are no Indian movies coming on the television. So the campus is like my state school in Dayton, Ohio. And auditorium they give out to all the community organizations. So we had India club on the campus, maybe 40, 50 students and then there must be 100. there were a couple of large companies with a lot of engineers with Indian background South Asian background.