Bangladesh to Auburn: An International Adjustment

Leaving for college is an exciting time but also frightening. Sumaiya Siddique, an international student at Auburn, can testify to that.
With hair darker than night and a pronounced accent, it is evident that Siddique hails from another country. A native of Bangladesh, a country in South Asia, she is over 8,000 miles away from home.
Most people would be too scared to move so far away from their friends and family, but Siddique is not going to let fear keep her from chasing her dreams of having an American education.
“I am the first in my family to come to America and study, the opportunities here are too great to pass up,” Siddique says.
Unlike most international students, Siddique completed her undergraduate degree in Bangladesh and is a graduate student at Auburn in the geosciences department. After deciding to further her education in America despite never visiting before, Siddique did research online to find the best school for her.
“I discovered Auburn when I researched American universities that have my program and decided that Auburn was the best option for me,” Siddique says.
Since moving to America, Siddique was forced to make adjustments to many aspects of life, specifically the academic curriculum. The difference in the curriculum was one of the first challenges she faced and since there are only two other international students in her program, adjusting to the American curriculum was necessary.
Despite the countless challenges she might encounter, she says the hardest is being so far away from home.
“I haven’t seen my family since I moved here last August and it makes me sad especially since my sister has younger children,” Siddique says. “But being at Auburn has allowed me to meet people from all over the world who are pursuing the same opportunities as I am.”
Although she is miles away from home, Siddique has formed meaningful relationships with fellow Auburn classmates who guide her when she needs help with American customs or just needs a companion.
Judith Hornsby, a friend Siddique has made since moving to Auburn, has been an integral part of Siddique’s adjustment to America. Hornsby was even there for what might be Siddique’s most memorable adventure in Auburn thus far, attending her first football game.
“Sumaiya is a wonderful friend I have made at Auburn and I am thankful to have been a witness to the graciousness she greets people with,” Hornsby says. “She is passionate and hardworking in everything she does, she inspires me daily.”
Siddique’s hard work is what has allowed her to come to Auburn and the passion she has for her program continues to bring her immense success. Her commitment to her studies along with the opportunities she will encounter while studying internationally is a guarantee for her to have a prosperous future.
After her graduation in May 2018, Siddique is hoping to further her education even more by staying in America and attaining her doctorate. She will once again research schools across the country to pursue this degree, but she would like to stay at Auburn considering the success she has had here.
“Auburn is offering a great opportunity for the international students, they are helpful in every aspect and I am grateful for that,” says Siddique.

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