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Home Away from Home Away from Home- An ITDP Perspective

February 6, 2015

corey seeman flickr winter

It was one of those bitterly cold Michigan Sunday morning’s during the month of January. The snow that had started to melt the day before, had already frozen again. I looked out through my window and noticed the beautiful morning sunrise. Even with the cold, it looked like heaven was smiling upon me.

I went back to my day dreaming mode with the warmth of  sunrays falling on my face. I was deep in my thoughts, recalling how I came here and ended up being a part of this mystic place. I used to practice dentistry in India. After almost a year’s practice, my prince charming flew down from San Jose, California and swept me off my feet. After coming to California, I realized my love for dentistry was overwhelming and I could not stay at home without contributing my share towards the community. I started inquiring about various dental colleges here. In the meantime, I started volunteering as an assistant in the clinic of a renowned dentist in my area. It is during this time that I started preparing for my national boards as well, as being an international dentist, we have to clear National Board of Dental Examinations (NBDE) part 1, before we can apply to colleges for advanced education. I remember every time, I could not understand a concept about occlusion, I would google up videos posted by the University of Michigan and watch them. Later I tried inquiring about the school through a few friends of mine, who studied here. Soon enough, I realized, this place was my dream college and being here would give me all the opportunities in the world, I have always wished for.

I applied to five colleges throughout the united states. By God’s grace, I got invitations from these colleges for interview. I went to all the schools for interviews and hands on exam on mannequins. I still remember the day, I came to university of Michigan to give my interview. I felt an inner urge to be a part of this institution. I could see hundreds of students crossing the street in front of CCRB. I remember meeting Ms. Katcher, Dr. Duff, Dr.Snyder and Dr. Stefanac for the first time. It was a pleasure to see how everyone here made me feel the warmth and love.  Later during the following week, I was sent  an acceptance email. I could not believe my sheer luck and was filled with joy. I knew I had to leave my family for two years and four months to continue my study here, but then that did not matter as afterall I had been accepted in my dream college and it was a price worth paying.

I started my school here officially from first week of January in the year 2014. I soon realized, I was a part of an established class of 100 students! Initially I wondered how would I ever get to interact with everyone when they already have their own groups and friends to mingle with.

Within a couple of weeks I didn’t even realize when I became a part of the class. Every time I got lost, (which I did a couple of times in the campus 🙂 ), the students here used to guide me through it. The IT committee of my class took the initiative to explain how the ctools site worked, how to listen to the podcasts and many more such trivial things which didn’t make much sense to me until they explained it. I was not an international student anymore, but I was actually a student of the Class of 2016!

I had never understood the significance of “GO BLUE!” until I came here. Now I love wearing clothes with letter “M” engraved over them, love painting my face blue and going to football matches while screaming out loud” GO WOLVERINES”. I have never enjoyed summer so much as I did during each and every day of summer fest here at Ann Arbor. I loved snow as much as I did the summer. “Icing on a cake” is how I refer to snow. I realize that I have to study again to get my license here at the United States, but I never feel that I am getting bored of this. I love to know about new techniques and methods of doing various procedures in the clinic. I like being a student again and seeing school from an altogether different perspective. Initially I was shocked to see the culture of reading through laptops with no papers to scribble on anymore. Slowly I have become adapted to this culture and I love it. I like the fact that I am a part of the evidence based study that is taught here. It is good to see how I can be a part of a bunch of other activities other than just studying. I believe each day here at this school teaches me something new and I am grateful to almighty for giving me this opportunity to be a part of a home away from home!

Mudita Agrawal is a D3 and still likes snow one year into her program.

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