International Humans of Mizzou Vol. 2: Domestic, international students share their study abroad experiences

Senior Anthony Lupo and junior Abuzar Bhatty share their stories about studying in different countries.

Anthony Lupo

Lupo is a senior studying economics in the Trulaske College of Business. He studied abroad at the London School of Economics and Political Science for an academic year during his junior year.

“I visited London in the summer of 2017 with a friend for a week and half. There were just some characters of the city that I really enjoyed. The fall semester of my sophomore year I underwent a cochlear implantation surgery and it just changed my life for better. And that change made me want to do something big and different. It was a little bit daunting at first, trying to figure out all these things. It’s like shoot, I don’t have sheets on the first night. Something happened while I was there was the Brexit situation. The original date was set while we were there so that was super interesting. People did and still have strong opinions about it. It was interesting to hear the academic standing point on it rather than just the political rhetoric. In one of the courses I took in LSE, we discussed how an academically rigorous school like LSE, which results in successful graduates compared to other UK graduates, consistently has lower scores on the UK National Student Survey. I find this juxtaposition interesting and makes me think about higher education overall. In the U.S. we do a lot of multiple choice tests, while over there it’s a lot more writing intensive. It was very stressful, there weren’t really right or wrong answers but more about how you apply your critical thinking. One thing I would change is to appreciate everyday and just enjoy every moment of it. A year sounds like a long time but it flies by. And there were a couple incidents when I felt down and other silly things. I wish I would tell myself that wait you are in the city you love for years and you should make the most of it.”

Abuzar Bhatty

Abuzar Bhatty is a junior studying biology on a pre-med track. Originally from Lahore, Pakistan.

“I moved to the United States sophomore year during high school. We moved because the opportunity back home wasn’t the greatest. My parents want us to have a good education. My hometown is densely populated and everything is open till 2 a.m. It is always busy. So if [you] want to hangout at 1 a.m. and have tea outside you can totally do it. While in Missouri, if you are hungry, almost everything is closed except maybe Taco Bell. I moved to a suburban area in St. Louis, which is one of the whitest counties that you can ever imagine. It took me a while to adjust. The issue for me is that society is so different. I changed schools a lot. But it was a lot easier for me to make friends back home than here. People here clique up really quick, you got the cool people, the nerds. I thought it was something that was made up on TV but then I saw it in real life. Honestly, I didn’t really have friends until a year and half into school. People here take a lot of pride in their personal privacy. Back home, everyone is in everyone’s business. Think about gossip girl but extend it in real life. Funny enough, when I came to MU, I didn’t really know anyone. But somehow my dad found that someone who he went to medical school with 30 years ago, his son was going to MU too. And we ended up being very good friends. So everyone is weirdly connected in a way. My dad came to MIT for a year for another MBA degree. He has seen the school systems in two different countries and knows the pros and cons of each. He knows if I am having a tough day in school. He also knows things like don’t ever say no to free shirts and free food in college. Because you never know when you will get another free shirt or free food. The first time I saw a football game, I was the most confused in my entire life. But I like football games better now. Especially when I see the entire campus cheering for the Chiefs kinda reminds of the sense of community back home. I was on the [homecoming] steering committee last year and it was very nice seeing the whole campus get together as a community.”

Edited by Alex Fulton | afulton@themaneater.com

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