Students outside U.S. find stay in Wichita for different purposes


The Sunflower

While many Wichita State students return home for the holiday break, many students that are from outside the United States will stay in Wichita.
Even though they do not see their families during the holidays, the international students are going to use the campus break as an opportunity to explore Wichita.
“I am new to this city so I don’t know much about it,” graduate student Wajahat Ali Mirza, from India, said. “Downtown and restaurants might be a good place to spend time.”
While the campus is closed for the holidays, local places near WSU provide entertainment. Originally from Bangladesh, graduate student Khondoker Usama usually spends his time volunteering for different non-profit organizations in the area. When he is not volunteering, he finds enjoyment ice skating at the Wichita Ice Center and going to Laserquest for laser tag with friends.
Because the winter weather does not allow Usama to fish or swim like he does in the summer, he spends his time at Barnes and Noble.
“As an active member of this great community, I see a lot of positive aspects of Wichita,” Usama said. “The community activities are the most salient attractions here for a person like me.”
Along with the weather presenting freezing temperatures during the winter, not having transportation is a downside to staying in Wichita, Ali Mirza said. He stated that they are not always available and that they are often costly.
Graduate student Max Amen said that he does not stay in Wichita, but visits other parts of the United States. He claims that he came to the city primarily for the academic reasons.
“For fun I don’t go anywhere (in Wichita), but I go for long trip to other states,” Amen said. “I chose to live here for higher education.”
Although Amen finds his entertainment elsewhere, he said that there are positives to live in the city. However, he does wish that there was more entertainment options provided by the city.
“The positive side of Wichita is that it is the best place to study — one affordable place to live in the United States,” Amen said. “On the one hand, there is no recreation places like amusement parks.”
With the exception of not being able to see his immediate family, Usama said there is not much of a difference, adding that he tries to make the best of what he is surrounded by.
“I called Wichita home for a long time now,” Usama said. “I don’t see much difference other than not being able to see my nephews and nieces and of course my immediate family members.”