A shared UT experience

I am an international graduate student from India. I stay off campus. I do not own any UT merchandise. I do not know the college anthem and couldn’t care less about the Longhorn symbol. My life revolves around my apartment and my department.

I do not intend to rant. I simply want to make readers aware that some people, such as international graduate students, don’t get the UT experience that most take for granted.

I belong to that crowd, but I sometimes try too hard to fit in. Maybe graduate life in a foreign country is meant to be depressingly boring. It’s not that I want to mimic the American accent, become a football fanatic or be a part of Alpha Delta Pi or some fraternity with a name formed by a combination of Greek letters. But I do wish for a sense of belonging here. After one year, I can safely say I have made very few friends from other countries, and it is even truer for most of my other shell mates. If UT wants to build a truly diverse student and alumni network, something should be done about this soon.
— Prana Narayanan
Electrical and computer engineering graduate student