Picture by Agon Nimani, RIT Kosovo Faculty
The twelfth week of classes has just ended and I have a long weekend ahead of me. It’s the Thanksgiving break, but I will not be travelling anywhere – quizzes, midterms, and papers are just around the corner! Instead, what I will be doing – since all of my new friends are visiting another city or country and it is raining outside – is thinking of home.
This experience here is the first of this kind. I have never studied abroad for a full semester in other universities other than my home campus in Kosovo. I have been away from home for almost three months now, and it just hit me – I miss the people closest to my heart and all the places where I spend most of my time terribly! I miss the short distances between one location to another and the small size of my hometown. I miss going out with my best friends and dancing our hearts out to songs we love. I miss my own bedroom which is full of pictures, drawings, and posters. I miss my backyard and all the cats that walk through. And, of course, I miss both the food my parents cook and the one I eat out at restaurants. However, I have learned one important thing about myself these past few weeks: I can actually cook delicious, nutritious food and not burn the house down!
You know how New York City is known as “the city that never sleeps”? It’s not only that city! The entire country doesn’t sleep! Everyone is rushing to work and drinking – or spilling – their coffee on the way. This is not the case in Kosovo. I miss how laid back everyone is – you’re only rushing if you missed your alarm and you’re quickly drinking your coffee only if you have a meeting or class in the next 2 minutes or so! It is typical in Kosovo to enjoy your coffee by drinking it slowly at a coffee shop in an actual cup. As far as alcohol-drinking goes, even though I’m of legal drinking age in the US and I have gone to pubs and clubs, I still miss drinking beer or wine with my friends in the city park – this is a feeling I share with most of the international students at RIT and my fellow Global Scholars.
There are so many differences in my experience as a student from my home campus to RIT main campus. As you may know by now, Kosovo is a tiny country but it is also a cozy one. You can’t use Google Maps even if you wanted to. Whereas in Rochester, I had to use the map even to find my way around campus and find the buildings where I had class. My home campus, RIT Kosovo, is only one-building big and it takes me a 30-minute walk or 10-minute drive to go there from home.
If you’re attached to your home, family, and friends like I am, you will probably feel the same. But don’t worry, this experience will keep you engaged in so many activities that you will not have the time to miss anyone or anything to that extent where you actually feel sad; you will just have a strong desire to teleport yourself every once in a while… there’s a difference! And, the universe has been treating me well so far: good weather, new friends, cool classes, friendly bosses, and so much more! I hope the same for you!