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This is my story

Malissa D'Souza ’12

MIRACLE CHILD

I was conceived during the Iraqi invasion into Kuwait on April 13, 1991, a “miracle child” according to my parents. Born in India after my parents had to flee from Kuwait, I spent the early months of life with my grandmother as my parents returned to Kuwait. I would rejoin them at the age of one and a half.

I always loved to travel and had visited 20 countries around the world by the age of 12. I became interested in attending the University of Hartford after I went to a career fair in Kuwait. Even though I had never been to the United States, I decided to enroll.

Moving to the United States was definitely a culture shock for me. I took the airplane from Kuwait by myself and met my sister in Boston. Upon arriving at the University, I didn’t speak to a single person on my first day because I was afraid my accent wouldn’t be understood. However, after going to the International Orientation, I met other students like myself and felt a little more comfortable.

One of the major adjustments I faced was getting used to class discussions. In Kuwait, the teacher spoke and we answered questions. There were no discussions during class time. It is different here, but I began to feel more comfortable in class and started to speak up. I was able to meet more people by joining the Barney Leadership Council and the Red Key Society.

I have had many fantastic opportunities while I have been here at the University of Hartford. Last year, I was able to travel to Bermuda over spring break with the Barney School of Business to meet with different insurance companies. It was a great experience and I am thankful that I was able to go.

One thing I love about the United States is that every city and state has something different and unique, which is fascinating. The thing I miss most about Kuwait is my family. Luckily, my sister is now attending the University. She arrived as a freshman in September and now I can see her every day!


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