The day Indonesian MBA student Huda was supposed to land in Dayton, things were not going smoothly. A storm stranded him and his pregnant wife in Rochester, NY. For a day and a half, they were stuck in an airport, not knowing when they would be able to complete their journey or what they would do when they got to their new home. Fortunately, the University of Dayton Global team were there to help.
We sat down with Huda to discuss his experience as an international MBA student and Fulbright Scholar at the University of Dayton, and about his stormy arrival from Indonesia.
Q: Were you worried when you were stranded in the airport?
Huda: Obviously this was a last-minute change, I didn’t know where’s my flight, where’s my airport pick up. I personally contacted one of the [Shorelight] advisors and he arranged for an airport pickup—even though it was Saturday, and it was also midnight. That was really great. I straight away felt like I was home.
Q: What was orientation like as a UDayton international student?
Huda: One of the things that struck me about the orientation process is that it is not demanding. It’s not like, you’re a student now, you have to memorize all these other things. Because I really appreciate it, because we’re still tired, we still have jetlag, we don’t know the place, we don’t even have a U.S. phone number. So, basically, we started out a new life and it was slowly integrating us to this new life here, this beautiful new community, this new family, this new support system that we have.
Q: How did you adjust as an Indonesian international student to Dayton?
Huda: We get to explore the city. Especially if you have a family, there are places to have fun with your family. My wife was pregnant and I was living here—so that was another challenge. I don’t only need to have fun here, but also arrange for my wife’s delivery. Before coming here, I never purchased insurance ever. I don’t know what copay means, I don’t know the difference between copay and deductibles. But the team introduced me to the US system, how to arrange for the delivery, how to make a doctor’s appointment, even some of the embarrassing questions that I asked.
“If I could say just one word, it’s been enriching. Meeting new people, in great classes, meeting professors. Now I’m part of this family for the rest of my life.”
Q: You have an on-campus job. Do you feel like working on campus supports you in your studies and in your classes in any way?
Huda: The work on campus relates to the jobs that we aspire to have. I used to work in my university’s international office, and here I also work in the international student center [Center for International Programs]. It’s relatable to what I was doing and what I will be doing in my home country. Obviously, it provides experience. That’s the greatest takeaway that I can think of. Working on campus was not about the money, but it’s more about the experience, about knowing the culture, working in the United States. It’s a safe zone, it’s an error free zone on campus. It’s a learning environment. It’s a wonderful opportunity for us who have never worked in the United States before, to see how things work in the United States, how we communicate with our coworkers, how we work with the process.
Q: How would you sum up this last year at UDayton Global?
Huda: If I could say just one word, it’s been enriching. Meeting new people, in great classes, meeting professors. Now I’m part of this family for the rest of my life. I’ll be UDayton alumni. I’ll be in this network of great people, and my family also enjoys being here.
Visit University of Dayton Global for information on programs and how to apply.