Hello and nice to meet you! It’s officially two months since I left my home country, the Dominican Republic, and let me tell you it’s been a ride from the beginning. In addition to becoming a grad student, I went overseas and far away from my family and friends for the first time ever.
I relocated here at the end of August, and my family came to help me move and get accustomed to the really weird transportation system here in Chicago. (To my fellow international students: study the bus system and plan your routes ～ don’t be me!) Living here in Chicago is very different from my little island; it’s a big city where you are surrounded by hundreds of people all of the time, but even then you still get to feel a little lonely in the middle of it. I do miss my home a lot. (Especially food. I really miss sancocho, mofongo, fried fish—even Dominican sushi a lot!)
The first month went by in a flash—I needed to get used to this city, to speaking another language full time, and to the weird (and sometimes overcomplicated) public services here in America. (I’m looking at you, Social Security and Postal Office.) This first month was really useful to get me on track with a schedule that could work with all of the stuff I needed to do, and also to explore a lot of places in Chicago.
This city is full of history, arts and music—everywhere you look you can find murals, theatres, museums and really cool stuff to do! I particularly love the Field Museum as it has a lot of exhibits, and I have yet to visit a good bunch of them!
The second month was a little bit harder than the first one, though. As the rush and emotion of relocating, exploring and adjusting to schedules settled down a bit, I found myself missing my home a lot. And that’s ok—it’s the first time living on my own in a completely different country, but that doesn’t mean I’m disconnected from my family and friends. I’ve received more calls in a day than I used to receive in a month, I have video calls with friends for seeing movies and TV series or even just catch up constantly, and I’ve been trying to surround myself with stuff and people that I love from here.
I’m really excited to see what the future has for me here in Chicago, and I hope I can grow more as a person and as a professional in this new journey.