Description of the video:
I'm Anushree Kedia and I go by Ree.
I grew up in Mumbai, India and I spent all of my life there before I came to University here.
It's been an extremely interesting journey just because it's not just been leaving a big city to come to a small town like Bloomington, it's been about leaving everything that I know, everything i'm familiar with back at home.
It was overwhelming, it was terrifying - having to leave all those comforts back at home of just like being able to go back home when I wanted to for the weekend, or just spending time with my family, or with my dog.
I remember the first time that I came in on campus it was for International Student Orientation and there was no one on campus.
So Bloomington was just already a small place - felt like it was deserted: there was no one walking around campus, the students weren't here.
I didn't know anyone really, but everyone that was coming to IU from Mumbai, we all had a little meet up and went and got lunch and we just like spoke and it was like, "hey, I'm going to IU too we need to make friends." We all were in the same boat, so it kind of helped this spark that friendship.
It was nice making friends with the other Indians, but it was also really - it wasn't the best idea, in my opinion, just because it gave us that chance to make our own friend group during International Student Orientation when all the other students weren't in here already for classes.
And, so it really closed me off for the first few months because I thought that I already had my friend group - I didn't want to talk to anyone, and I really limited myself because I had that friend group and it was everyone that was like me - so it wasn't really helping with meeting new people, learning their story.
So it was a really mixed bag of emotions, that first semester was weird.
In the start I was really scared about interacting with people, because I was worried about what they think about me. I was worried that people would be horrible, because I had heard all these stories about people being racist, and like not liking Indians, or - just all these instances that could be some sort of harm caused to me, which made me really scared to interact with domestic students in general, or anyone outside my friend group, because it was safe.
So when I moved to the Global Village, a month into my first semester here, it was amazing because the Global Village is a living learning community, which is in Foster.
It's a community for everyone interested in different cultures, different languages.
It's everyone that wants to know more about the world - so that really helped, because people wanted to talk to me.
They just wanted to know my experience, they wanted to hear more about my life back at home in Mumbai. And I think that's what sparked it, because I really needed someone to pull me out of my friend group instead of me taking the leap of faith, because that was terrifying for me.
I think the moment that I realized that IU was home was actually my first summer back at home, right before sophomore year.
When I'd been home for about a month and it was my birthday - my birthday's in June - and I wanted to celebrate it in Mumbai, but there was also this part of me inside, which was like, "I'm not home though" like "I want to go home and celebrate it with my friends" and that's when I realized that - okay IU is home.