Read the blog created by Zuha Maryam Shaikh '13 describing her experiences at Mount Holyoke!
Tehreem (Sara) Kamal (Pakistan)
Indira Rakhimzyanova (Russia)
Pragya Bajoria (India)
I came to Mount Holyoke from India as an apprehensive "firstie," living alone for the first time. In my two years here, I have developed a deep attachment for MHC. I wonder what makes MHC my home away from home? Is it the picturesque campus I wake up to each morning, the international diversity that has broadened my perspective, or the academic rigor that makes me challenge myself regularly? I realize my love constitutes more than the sum of these factors. Sweet indulgences at M&Cs, intellectual discussions at SAW, and bonding over Chai Tea are the small things that make Mount Holyoke special to me. I feel a sense of belonging in this warm and embracing community. I have learned to appreciate my own culture and traditions, as I assimilate new experiences and values into my identity. I feel empowered as a woman, confident in my ability to make a change.
Tan Su (China)
Before I came to Mount Holyoke, I barely knew anything about politics or the political situation in the world. Through spirited and impassioned debates on various issues with my peers and professors, all from diverse backgrounds, helped me to understand political developments and interactions between countries around the world. I have been shaped by the arguments which both challenged and reinforced my previous ideas and perceptions. I appreciate the diversity among the students. Discussions with them shattered many preconceived notions about people and countries. Moreover, in these conversations across cultures and borders, my ideas and contributions also helped to change others' stereotypes about my home country, which was very encouraging to me.
Farima Afaq (Afghanistan)
I am proud to be an Afghan student at Mount Holyoke College, where among many cultures I could also represent the Afghan culture. I chose to come to MHC because of its great diversity and have found the college to be a loving community, which represents the whole globe. During my time here I have had the opportunity to learn about so many cultures and now have friends from, all over the world.
Urangarav Tsogt-Erdene (Mongolia)
Having lived in the States since the 4th grade, I was already very well-acquianted with American culture when I arrived at Mount Holyoke. While I was born and had grown up in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, I considered Chapel Hill, North Carolina to be just as much of a home for me and thus felt like both an international and a domestic student. However, I met a Mongolian transfer student during the first week of MHC Orientation and was told that, while I was the only Mongolian first year, there were FOUR Mongolian juniors already studying at Mount Holyoke and they would all love to meet me! Having been a part of the only Mongolian family in Chapel Hill and one of the only Mongolian teenage girls in North Carolina, meeting others my age from my country was like realizing what I had been secretly missing all along. While the astoundingly high percentage of international students at Mount Holyoke was one of the reasons I chose this school, I never expected to find so many students from a country as small as Mongolia here. In fact, I've met people from all over the U.S. and the world since arriving, people from places about which I've only read, people truly from all walks of life. And that, in my opinion, is diversity done the Mount Holyoke way!
Lia Kapanadze (Georgia)
Being at MHC makes me feel like a citizen of the world. I have friends from every continent (except Antarctica!) and can listen to over 20 different languages just within my circle of friends. My views, perceptions, and opinions about the world have been turned upside down and inside out since my first semester here. I feel my eyes are now wide open and will stay that way.
Anisha Baidya (Nepal)
If there is a heaven on earth , Mount Holyoke is it! Mount Holyoke offered me compassion and found the good in me when I myself could not. I had to go on a medical leave twice during my stay at MHC. However, the College never made me feel unwanted. There was a point when I thought I will never make it back to this paradise. If it were not for the constant support from the school (the academic deans, the McCulloch Center, Student Financial Services, Health Services, all my professors and friends, and the entire campus community), my family and friends, I would have never have returned! ! I am indebted to MHC! Finding a place 7,400 miles from home (Kathmandu, Nepal) is not easy, but I found one: Mohome! Yes, I dreamed a dream and now I do not fear, I have changed!
Saltanat Ansari (Pakistan)
Being a student at Mount Holyoke means being immersed in an amazing perpetual learning environment. Traveling here all the way from Pakistan was a huge deal for me, of course, but I am so glad I did it. MHC is literally a melting pot of cultures, which I didn’t actually realize until I came here and experienced it first hand. Mount Holyoke embodies diversity. The fact that I can represent my culture, my country, and, most importantly, myself through a multitude of avenues is massive. I always like living amongst people and things that can give me flight rather than pull me down. I can truly say that Mount Holyoke is helping me to fly. It's definitely never easy to live away from home, but seriously, every day at MHC things just get better.
Parvathy Bhushan (India)
Thirty percent of our MHC student body is international! I think that really speaks volumes about how we embrace diversity here at Mount Holyoke. As a tour guide for the Admission Office, I am frequently asked whether it was difficult for me to adjust to a new country after I arrived. People are often taken aback when I respond with a confident not at all! International students have the opportunity to not only experience American culture first-hand, but also to learn more about cultures from around the world! It makes you feel humble and yet part of a beautiful, large family. It’s incredible!
Ji Hyang (Gina) Lee (South Korea)
MHC is wonderful place to be for an international student. The diversity on the campus is extraordinary, and I appreciate it very much. You always feel welcomed by everyone. At MHC I learned to be a part of global community, and my perspective has expanded to such a level that it otherwise wouldn't have reached, if I had attended a different college. Everyone is friendly, accepts you for who you are, and supports your identity and your choices.
Ana Capi (Albania)
When people ask me about what I feel I have accomplished thus far in my life, I am happy to say that one of my biggest accomplishments is coming to Mount Holyoke. We all have dreams and hopes, and having them fulfilled is what makes us happy. After receiving my admission letter from Mount Holyoke, that’s how I felt, genuinely happy. Coming to this school, I was fascinated with the unbelievably beautiful campus and the amazing diverse community that makes one feel so welcomed and at home. The inspiring stories, people, and conversations motivate me and fill me with dreams and the passion to do great things every single day. I feel that Mount Holyoke has helped me grow in so many ways--I've become more independent, and determined to fight for my dreams and what I believe is right, because it was this school that taught me that everything is possible, if you want it badly enough. Mohome will always be my home away from home.
Mei Jing (Jeanie) Lim (Malaysia)
MHC is a small college with huge diversity; a small community with a big heart for women's education. At this beautiful campus set in a small, friendly town, I am surrounded by such a diverse community that it sometimes feels like I am being submerged in a sea of over half the world's cultures, heritages and traditions. There's so much to learn and appreciate about the world! The diversity on campus allows me to explore and engage with people from so many different corners of the world. There is no better way to share and broaden my world view than this.
Sadolsjua Bjattarai (Nepal)
As a student from a small country in Southeast Asia (Nepal), I was really nervous about coming to an American college. But even after being here for only one month, Mount Holyoke has become my home. Whether I am hanging out on campus, eating dinner with friends, or studying at the library, Mount Holyoke has embraced me and I already feel like an important member of this community. Meeting people from such diverse backgrounds has helped me become more open-minded and I’ve learned to embrace different cultures, religions and languages. The beauty of the campus mesmerizes me every day and friendly smiles greet me everywhere I go. I am lucky and proud to live and study in such a beautiful and inspiring community.
Meghadeepa Maity (India)
When I came to Mount Holyoke College from 7790 miles away, I was ready to welcome change. In just a few months, MHC taught me that reality can actually be better than my dreams. Learning from widely varying student communities has allowed me to respect and weigh other points of view, as well as to question my own. I've been pushed past my comfort zone in searching for answers, both within and outside myself. I've met strangers and proceeded to have intense discussions about world affairs: something I previously used to steer clear of. It's only when I argued with a Chinese student that a true democracy is not necessarily a Utopian ideal, that I could truly appreciate the largest democracy in the world. A Jamaican friend had a billion questions about the status of women in India, and they came as a jolt. Until then I had taken it for granted that I was over-privileged to be studying at a women's college in the United States. Today I'm serving on the board of the Hindu religious community here, and I would probably laugh it off, if you'd suggested before I left India that I embrace my spirituality so openly. I occasionally feel homesick. But when a friend from another country spontaneously starts a conversation in her language and only pauses 5 minutes later on perceiving that I don't understand a word she's said, I realize how we're all in this together. And in that, there's an immense sense of comfort and belonging.
Maria Jose Correa (Argentina)
I am from Argentina. Many South Americans live their lives isolated from the happenings in the rest of the world. Many believe that all people live in the same conditions as they do and also, that women have the same struggles as many of them. When I came to Mount Holyoke, I not only discovered the amazing diversity in the student body, but also how education could help me learn to respect and tolerate others while learning from them. When I share a classroom with other MoHos, there is only one difference between us, our passports. Our curiosity, interests, and passion for learning is the same, regardless of where we live. Mount Holyoke has shown me that with education there are no barriers that can stop us from being successful. We are all citizens of the world.
Ting Wei (Taiwan)
As an international transfer student from Canada and Taiwan, I was at first apprehensive about making the transition to Mount Holyoke. My previous college did not have a large or diverse international student population. In contrast, Mount Holyoke offers incredible diversity; the people I’ve met hail from all over the world. The richness of Mount Holyoke’s global campus is definitely a unique characteristic. I knew Moho was “home” as I began to settle in. I definitely made the right choice in transferring here, and I’m excited for the rest of my Moho journey!
Yang Song (China)
Being an international student at Mount Holyoke College is an incomparable experience, since MoHo is one of the most open and culturally diverse colleges in the U.S. No matter your homeland, this is the place where you will feel at home. I've not only gotten to know different cultures, religions and languages, but have also learned to embrace and appreciate diversity. I have become a more understanding and open global citizen.