By Priyanka P.

An example of Indian furniture and wallpaper in Mrs. M's house

Before she came, Leena M. thought that the country was like Disney World, and life here would be easy and fun. But the lifestyle in the United States was very different than her lifestyle in India. In India, she had servants who lived with her to help cook and clean the house. However, in America, there was nothing like that.
Mrs. M. grew up in Mumbai, India, where she attended a Catholic school and learned to speak English fluently. In addition to English, she spoke her family’s native languages, Marathi and Konkani, and living in the multi-cultural city of Mumbai, she also picked up Hindi and Gujarati. As a child, Mrs. M. was very talkative. In fact, she was so talkative that her teacher had to call her parents in, after many failed attempts of trying to get Mrs. M. to talk less. But Mrs. M. was clever, intelligent and outgoing, and, as a result, she had a bright future ahead of her­.
Mrs. M. decided to move to the United States at age 25 because she had recently gotten married, and she was going to live with her husband, who was studying for his Ph.D degree in the US. Being fluent in English, Mrs. M. thought moving to the United States would be easy because there would be no language barrier. But adjusting to the lifestyle in the US was a challenge. Although she was fluent in English, some of the most commonly used phrases were different in the US than those used in Mumbai. For example, the rear trunk of a car in the US is called a dickey in India. This made communication difficult for Mrs. M. at times.
One of the biggest challenges that Mrs. M. faced was the fact that her degree from India in Homeopathic Medicine was not recognized in the US. What she had done in India to fulfill the requirements for the degree was not enough to fulfill the requirements for a similar degree in the US. Mrs. M. was disappointed that her hard work in India was not enough for the United States, but she never gave up. What motivated her was the success that she would have in the future. She went back to school and took enough classes to fulfill all of the requirements to get a Masters of Business Administration degree. Her motivation has led her to succeed, even though her degree was not recognized in the United States. However, Mrs. M. found that after completing school in the US, was that there were so many more jobs and opportunities than there were for her in India. As a result, she has had many wonderful and fulfilling career opportunities.
Finally, although she is halfway across the world from her hometown, she has never felt disconnected from it. She has many close friends from India who lived nearby, she has pieces of Indian furniture in her house, and she goes to the Hindu temple frequently. Also, she is fortunate to be able to travel to India frequently to visit her parents and old friends. So she has never felt really homesick.