Let’s make Miami our home away from home

Most of us international students have a calendar inside us.

We are already counting the days for the next vacation so we can head home.

It’s like the final exam dates are important solely because we can schedule our flights a couple hours after our last exam.

As soon as I’m done, I want to leave. It is as if we are ungrateful to Miami, the University and people we met here.

And when we come back, Miami feels even less like home. At home we were spoiled by family members who missed us. We had fun with friends we hadn’t seen in a while and ate our favorite foods (and went a month without a burger).

And then BOOM – classes begin and our long-distance bill starts to escalate.

It is hard to manage the feelings of missing home. The word nostalgia almost describes it. Home is where everything is (or was, until we left). The bed you slept on until you left for school, the toys you played with as a baby and the gifts from the people who grew up with you.

There are also the trees you were used to seeing on the way to your old school and the neighbors you called when you ran out of sugar.

But we must realize Miami has its own supermarkets and trees. And the neighbors may have the sugar we need. It is a matter of perspective and choice. We can find pieces of our old friends in every new person we meet. We can choose to enjoy the route to school like we did back home.

If you really think about it, there is so much here at UM and in Miami. It almost seems unfair for the people back at home to be there instead of here.

Don’t you sometimes wish you could bring everyone here? I do. That is when I realize being here is a privilege though it hurts sometimes.

Who knows? Maybe that promise we had made – “As soon as I get my diploma I will run to the airport” – might not come true. We may run the risk of someday calling Miami home.

Maybe we can have two homes and enjoy the best of both of them.

She is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism and international studies.