From Albania To Zimbabwe: International Organisations

Hi! My name is Nitya Sudarshan from Mumbai, India. I will be writing about what Brown is like as an international student, and my many experiences that helped me make Brown my home really far away from home.

There’s a lot of things that you miss about home when you’re so far away – food, family, festivals, dressing up in your traditional clothes, music and movies. It definitely is initially unnerving to be in a place where no one does things the way you do. Brown has a prominent international community, with students from all over the world, and there certainly are many places where you can find you community for just a taste of home when you need it.

I’m from Mumbai, India, and there are a fair amount of Indian organisations and societies, as well as Indian students at Brown. There is a South Asian Student’s Association (SASA) that has an annual culture show, celebrates all Indian Festivals, has events with music and food. There is an Indian dance group that also has annual shows. Having friends who come from many different countries, I know that there are equivalent organisations for each country, religion and different regions of the world – to try and compensate for home at times where you miss home the most.

But the great thing about most of these organisations and groups is that since you’re at Brown, you get to celebrate your home with friends here at Brown. I have celebrated Diwali (a Hindu festival of lights) with an Italian friend, I have celebrated Holi (an Indian festival of colour) with a friend from Canada. There is an exciting and distinct feeling of including new friends in old traditions, which makes it seem all the more like family at Brown. Consequently, I have celebrated festivals with my friends from different cultures, and have felt as included in their customs as I hope they feel in mine.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out to me at nitya_sudarshan@brown.edu!

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