The Covid-19 global pandemic took a substantial toll on American colleges and universities. One major hit was that travel constraints put a startling halt to international education. American students were not permitted to study abroad, and those restrictions were reciprocated to prevent foreign students from studying in the U.S. This was a huge blow to the world of higher education, as global learning experiences are truly valued for the equal benefits of the student cultural exchange.
Thankfully, over the past year as travel restrictions lightened, American schools were once again able to open their doors to educate international students in-person. The SUNY Broome family was beyond thrilled to welcome nineteen international students from around the world in the fall 2021 semester.
One of our newest international students is Mohammad Sadman Kabir, an international business student from Bangladesh.
For Kabir, deciding to study at SUNY Broome was a family right of passage. “Some of my cousins have studied at SUNY Broome and also at Binghamton University. They encouraged me to come to SUNY Broome, get acclimated to the American educational system, complete my classes in a smaller setting, and then transfer to Binghamton University. One of my cousins is a student at Binghamton University right now, so I am technically not alone in a foreign land. It’s nice to have family nearby,” said Kabir.
Though Kabir had never been to the United States prior to moving to SUNY Broome, he was no stranger to a life of relocation. “My dad was in the Navy in Bangladesh, so we have lived all over the country, though we mostly spent our time in Dhaka and Chittagong. I had never been to the United States before, but my cousins prepped me. They told me that I would land in a very busy New York City, but that Binghamton would be much calmer with older buildings and nice homes – and that’s exactly what Binghamton is like.”
Kabir didn’t hesitate to immerse himself into the academic and social environments at SUNY Broome. In addition to taking a full load of classes and being a regular in the Math Lab and tutoring center, he is very active within the student body and is a member of the Backpacking Club, the Business Club, the International Students Organization, and the Music Association.
“I think that it is really important for international students to minimally join the ISO. That is the best place to meet fellow students, talk about life as an international student, and develop your English skills if that is needed. I’ve met most of my friends through ISO activities. So far this year, we have gone ice skating, visited a pumpkin patch, volunteered at a cancer walk, and hosted “International Week” in the dining hall,” said Kabir.
Thanks to his involvement in SUNY Broome’s student activities, Kabir’s schedule is full of hiking trips around the region (Backpacking Club), open mic night performances (Music Association), and travel (Business Club). “I just got back from a trip to New York City with the Business Club. I’m really into investing, so visiting the Stock Exchange was definitely a highlight of the trip.”
There are some perks to being an international student in 2021. Thanks to advancements in technology and social media, homesickness isn’t nearly as rough as it used to be. “I definitely miss my family, but we can FaceTime and I always see my eight year old sister on Snapchat,” said Kabir.
Kabir celebrated his first Thanksgiving in New Jersey with his extended family and was excited to have participated in the holiday’s festivities.
Kabir loves being a student at SUNY Broome and truly appreciates that his time at the College is so positive thanks to the support of a few key people on campus.
“Can I do a shoutout in this interview? I have to give a shoutout to Miss Susan (Susan Wellington – Assistant Director of Admissions/International Student Services). She has helped me with every question that I have had. I love that I can just stop by her office and she is always there to help me. I also need to give a big shoutout to Dave and David in the Math Lab. All SUNY Broome students need to go to the Math Lab at some point. It’s a lifesaver! I also would be totally lost without my accounting tutor, Vatsal Shah. Thanks to these people, I am thriving at SUNY Broome and can’t wait to see what the next semester brings.”
To learn more about SUNY Broome’s International Admissions process, please visit International Admissions.
Need extra academic support in math, writing, or in one of your classes? Visit the Learning Assistance Department.