19 Going On 20: Scotland Edition

I turned 20 yesterday — the first birthday I’ve celebrated more than 5,000 miles away from home. It’s also my golden birthday, which means I turned 20 on September 20, and I’ve been lucky enough to celebrate it with friends old and new. Scotland is full of constant surprises. This weekend, I took a trip up […]

Why an international student chose USC

When people ask me why I chose USC, I don’t know what to say. “What made you come all the way here from Australia?” is what everyone asks and I suppose it’s a completely fair question. However, the truth is I have no idea. I don’t know why I applied to USC and I’m not sure what […]

Witnessing an animal sacrifice

For the past three days, I have been indulging in a buzz of barbeque, sweets, and kisses from my host family and relatives. We are celebrating Eid-al-Adha, a Muslim holiday, also known as “Feast of the Sacrifice,” which traditionally lasts three days. Every year, a lamb, sheep, goat or cow is sacrificed as a recreation and […]

Scottish Cuisine: Indian Spice and Everything Nice

As an Indian American wandering through Scotland, there isn’t a lot I find familiar. Instead of finding the local Ralph’s, I’m at the neighborhood Tesco trying to figure out what an aubergine is. Already, I’ve gotten lost countless times on the streets that change names every few feet, and the California sunshine I’ve come to know and […]

A Really Young Person In A Really Old Place

I always imagined studying in Scotland would be a step outside of my comfort zone, but I’ve been dropped on the other side of the Atlantic with my comfort nowhere in sight. There’s a powerful charm in the oldness here. In just the first week, I’ve walked past the birthplace of Arthur Conan Doyle, stumbled […]

Ma’ Salama, Los Angeles; Salam, Rabat

When I initially told people I was going to study abroad in Morocco for 4 months, many of them were unaware of what Morocco actually was. Some thought it was a city in Europe or the Middle East until I mentioned that the famous American film Casablanca took place in Casablanca, Morocco. Colonized by the […]

Musings on lint rollers and other things

I was asked recently to sum up my experiences studying abroad in Istanbul — a question that really has no good answer because there really is no way to sum up living in a country that is totally different from your own, and especially a place as diverse, exciting and crazy as Istanbul. I think […]

Familiar and foreign at the same time

While my friends in the States are gearing up for finals, I’ve just returned from my mid-semester break. I keep calling it spring break, but it’s autumn in the Southern Hemisphere and most students don’t really travel to any beachy or boozy destinations during their two weeks off. My friends and I, however, used this […]

Home away from home (Very away from home)

  Last weekend, I signed up to stay with a family for two nights in a delightful neighborhood nestled like a hat on top of the city’s center. Bo Kaap is a Muslim community of about 10,000 people. Each little house is painted a bright color from hot pink to mustard yellow, making it the […]

Living in the Now, Now

I don’t carry my phone around very much anymore, much to the frustration of the friend I’m supposed to be meeting for lunch. Finding internet on the move is like trying to catch handfuls of air, and there are only so many times you can see that your messages have failed to send before deciding […]