Name: Langston Menezes
Home Campus: RIT Dubai
Major: Computer Security
Favorite place to hang out at the RIT main campus: Global Village Plaza
Favorite spot to study: My dorm room and the study room in Global Village
Favorite place to eat on campus: RITZ Sports Zone
Why did you decide to join the RIT Global Scholar program?
I decided to join the Global Scholar program because I wanted to be in a different country for a change, see how it is to study abroad, do a co-op, and be exposed to a different curriculum from the one I find at my home campus. I know it can be difficult, but this is a huge campus, so there is much more students can do here than in smaller campuses like RIT Dubai. Other reasons behind my decision to join the program include challenging myself by being on my own, away from my family and out of my comfort zone.
What are the biggest differences between RIT main campus and RIT Dubai?
There are many! First of all, one of the biggest differences is the size of the campus. It is many times larger than my home campus. Second, the course load is significantly heavier; there is much more work to do here than in Dubai. Third, there are so many resources here that students should get ahold of, such as the availability of labs (which is very, very important for my major!), the various activities taking place throughout the semester, the number and enthusiasm of student clubs (there are more than 200 clubs at RIT main campus!), the library is bigger and it has a wide array of books and authors, and so forth.
Have you experienced a cultural shock already?
Yes! People are really nice here, however, it is difficult to interact with people in class, it seems that no one knows each other. Back in Dubai, we all know each other since it’s a much smaller campus than here. So, it is definitely a huge challenge to meet new people. Also, I’m not sure whether I should call it a cultural shock, but I was surprised to find out that people go to bed early and that most cafeterias, bars, and night clubs close much earlier than they do in Dubai.
What’s the benefit of being a Global Scholar?
The number one benefit would be that you get to become independent; that is, if you have not lived in the dorms so far, you’re away from your parents, you’re at a new place, so you are encouraged and you have to do everything on your own. The next one would be that you get really excited for the number and type of classes offered here. Third, you can see how much differently people are committed to doing their studies here… it can be quite competitive and enthusiastic sometimes! Last but not least, it is a great opportunity to meet new people. All these add up to your personal development, to you becoming a different person.
What are your plans for the future?
First, graduate! Second, I will hopefully find a job in the US and work for some time. And third, go home for a while and come back here for my master’s degree.
Do you have any advice for future Global Scholars?
Take the opportunity to get here and don’t throw it away! Take a leap of faith and spend a semester or two at the RIT main campus, because once you do you won’t regret it! The experience is significantly different than the one in your home campus. It might be very tempting to consider transferring once you come here because of the numerous opportunities and challenging experience, just like I have! I applied for a semester only, but I have now decided to apply for a second semester.
Keep in mind that you have to find a balance among the things you have to do; find the time to get the right amount of sleep and eat the food you need… everything’s on you, so you have to learn to discipline yourself here if you haven’t done so already!
One more thing: If you like to do sports, go to the gym, swim in an indoor pool, you should definitely go to the Gordon Field House & Activities Center! I love it! And… it’s free of charge for RIT students!e