Blogs: Being International

Hurricane María’s landfall in Cambridge

APRIL 2018
Biological Engineering
Moving to a new place after spending a whole life on a small island in the Caribbean was very daunting. My expectations as a first-year graduate student in New England were not out of the ordinary. I would have to adjust to a different culture, prepare for different weather (far colder than...

Behind on the race towards education

MARCH 2018
Biological Engineering
Skimming through current MIT undergraduates’ CVs (for potential UROPs), I realized I probably wouldn’t have gotten into MIT for an undergraduate degree. There wasn’t really anything exciting about me five years ago. Back home in Puerto Rico, competitiveness to get into college isn’t really a thing...

Being very far away…

MARCH 2018
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Dear Friend, I am going to tell you a very personal story that has changed my perspective towards the many challenges that become default as you move forward as an MIT Ph.D. student. It was a Tuesday evening, and I was in the Z-center, the athletic facility at MIT. I was standing on the second...

Celebrating linguistic diversity at MIT

FEBRUARY 2018
Linguistics and Philosophy
When the movie Arrival came out in 2016, I was overjoyed: for the first time, a woman linguist was the main character in a Hollywood movie, not to mention the fact that the linguistic consultant of this film – ...

Why do experiments if they don’t work, or why every scientist is a Sherlock Holmes

FEBRUARY 2018
Materials Science and Engineering
This summer I voluntarily stayed up all night for about nine days to stare at some computer screens and push some buttons. Voluntarily, I became a true night dweller by waking up at 7pm and going to bed at 8am. I wasn’t practicing some weird voodoo sleeping schedule or avoiding the sunlight. I was...

Being a Muslim Woman at MIT

SPRING 2017
Mechanical Engineering
On a sunny day last fall, I wanted to try cooking a typical Indonesian food called ‘rendang,’ a delicious spicy beef curry.  Figure 1. Rendang is best served with warm jasmine rice, shrimp crackers, and fresh cucumber. I left my apartment to go grocery shopping while catching Pokemon at the same...

Out and About at MIT

Spring 2017
Chemical Engineering
In graduate school I explored and developed a new side of myself. And no, I’m not talking about academics or hobbies, this was far more personal. This was about coming to terms with being gay, finding a partner and telling my friends and family. I want to share this story and how the awesome people...

Confessions of a Green Tea Addict

SPRING 2017
Mechanical Engineering
Just as some people are addicted to coffee, I am addicted to green tea. However, I think ‘addiction’ is a too strong of a word. I do not drink green tea twice a day in my office while working on research and problem sets, like how others drink their coffee. I cannot recall the exact time when I...

In the Art of the City

SPRING 2017
Chemical Engineering
I spent my childhood in Shanghai, the largest city in China. However, as a child, I never had the chance to explore this big city. After I graduated from high school and moved to Pasadena with my family for my undergraduate studies, I became accustomed to life in the suburbs, a place where people...

The Infinite Corridor

SPRING 2017
Architecture
“How do I get to MIT?” I asked. It was a sunny afternoon with a crisp fall breeze. I was only 2 weeks into my first trip to the US, but I was already missing the warmth of Mumbai air. “Well, you are already at MIT,” the lady standing near a white sculpture of human body replied. “Just walk straight...