Yijing’s Story: A First Impression of the United States

Three years ago I came with my husband to ND to pursue his Phd degree. After more than 20 hours traveling from my country to Chicago then to South Bend both of us were extremely exhausted. When we arrived the community center of UV, it was already 9pm, but staffs were still waiting us outside the BCC. After we entered our apartment, it really made me feel touched that it is not a regular apartment with nothing: In the bedrooms air mattresses were set up well and covered with clean beddings; In the kitchen they provided basic cooking tools like pots and pans, and food like eggs, milk, pizza, tomato, water and rice.

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Our first apartment

All the goods were enough to help us transit the first several days. Our hearts were deeply warmed by these considerate welcome preparations. For us international students no one has a car on the first day in USA, these free supplies mean a lot beyond your imagination . For me it is not only a first impression of ND, but also of USA.

 

In the past three years my husband and I are more and more feeling like we are not just a resident of UV, we actually are a part of UV. And last year our first baby girl was born here. I think there are not that many communities in USA like our NDUV, for every graduate student family, UV is a affordable home, his or her spouse and kids can live here save and get support from one another family. For example, when one family has a baby born, other families volunteer to cook meal for them, it becomes a tradition of UV. So much support from NDUV that graduate students can devote themselves into their researches without distractions.

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Notre Dame is our baby’s home

Although the buildings of NDUV are getting older and older than nearby areas, graduate student families from different countries and cultures are getting closer and closer here. Keeping this community is more meaningfull than just simply tearing down to build other project. I sincerely hope that even if ND must tear down this beautiful home, please provide another place for graduate families, most of them are international students or other states, and keep the community forever. Everyone who once lived here will love and miss the NDUV home forever.

-Yijing Guan, current resident

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