Parichay Event Welcomes International Students


Photo by Muritala Ayinla

A cross section of the participants at the 2023 Parichay. The event was hosted by the Association of Indian Students.

Written by Muritala Ayinla, Distribution Coordinator

  The Association of Indian Students at the University of Central Missouri held the 2023 Parichay for approximately 200 new students who enrolled in the 2023 Spring semester at UCM. The Association’s Vice President, Suresh Rayadurgam, said there are approximately 1,200 Indian students enrolled at UCM. He said the Parichay program was specifically organized to welcome those who enrolled for Spring 2023.

  “Sanskrithi is an Indian Association at UCM, which is aimed at ensuring the welfare of Indian students and their being,” Rayadurgam said. “I advise new students to feel at home after traveling overseas for their education. Sanskrithi is there to make them feel like a family.”

  Mahmoud Yousef, the Coordinator of the Cyber Security program at UCM Lees’ Summit Campus, said Parichay is a welcoming and very thoughtful event. He said the event helps many new students who left their country for the first time feel less isolated during their first semester at UCM. He said the program helps a lot of students have a sense of belonging at the university.

  “This event helps a lot of students by not feeling isolated,” Yousef said. “It creates an avenue of a home away from home and helps new students have a sense of belonging. When new students face difficulties because they are in a new environment, [at the event] they can see people who have a similar culture to them. It gives them a relief to easily get integrated into the United States.”

  Yousef said students can use the opportunity for their academic program to learn about different cultures and values. 

  “It is very important for domestic and international students to get to know each other very well,” Yousef said. “The American student can also understand the culture of international students. In the same way, the international student can learn the culture of Americans. That is the best way they can get used to each other and society.”

  Assistant Professor in the School of Industrial Management and Technology, Marietta Watson, commended the event organizers. 

  “The very energetic event was well put together and was a great way to welcome new students to UCM,” Watson said. 

  Watson added that so many people got to learn about cultures through technology because it enabled them to share their experiences and ways of life. 

  “People say that technology may draw people away from their culture, but there is a need to know that it also enables people to share their culture with their friends all over the world,” Watson said. “I’m so happy and honored to be here. I am also excited to be recognized as one of the family members of the students’ association. I had a good time seeing people. It was a good experience outside the classroom.”