Irisa Lico grew up in Ravonik, Albania in a tiny village surrounded by mountains. For the first eight years of her life, she lived on a farm, in a two-bedroom house with 12 other family members. They grew their own food and produced their own milk and cheese, traveling to the nearby city of Korçë only in the wintertime when they needed groceries. Until moving to the United States in 2008, Irisa had never met a Black or Asian person. She had never been exposed to any culture other than her own.
The code word was perfect: obscure enough so that the boys couldn’t decipher it, but not so strange that it would attract the attention of our teachers. In the lunch line, we were giggling by the shelves of Cheetos and Funyuns, pointing at the girl a few steps ahead:
“Look, look,” I said, motioning to the back of her white t-shirt. “Her walrus is showing.”
This week's Statement Magazine is focused on the 2020 Election. Read personal statements and investigative pieces on the historic nature of Kamala Harris' vice presidential nomination, the eerie similarities between 2016 and now, voting for policies, not politicians, the power behind voting at any age and the anxiety that comes with the approach of Nov. 3. This special edition can be accessed at our Magnify site, which is updated every Wednesday with new content.
This week, The Statement explored the various ways technology permeates our pandemic-ridden lives, in ways both sinister or connective. Read about online dating during a pandemic, the watchful eye of exam proctoring, anxiety exacerbated by Zoom, the overwhelming nature of remote work and the beauty behind using analog technology for art. You can access this content at our Magnify site and check back next week for our Election Edition.
Housing in Ann Arbor has always proved tumultuous, from lack of affordable housing to a cut-throat subleasing market to new development plans. The Statement has spent the past few weeks investigating these topics and more, looking into the ways housing in Ann Arbor impacts students, landlords and the community. You can view this content at our Magnify site and check back next week for our Technology edition.
The nerves reminded me of the feeling you get before a job interview. With a light flutter in my stomach, I swung my backpack over my shoulder and walked into the East Quad dining hall. I spotted the girls almost immediately, the five of them giggling over half-eaten pizza and shredded brussels sprouts, their close friendship apparent. Approaching them, I jokingly thought to myself, Should I have brought a resumé?
After a summer full of changes for both The Daily and The Statement, our staff is making print and online adjustments for our fall content — centralizing our content in a Magnify website found here. Due to less campus and city circulation, as well as the need for financial responsibility, The Daily is printing once a week rather than five days and removing all print inserts.
The challenges that international students face in attending American universities are plentiful, ranging from intense culture shock to rising tuition fees. Add the COVID-19 pandemic, which comes with strict travel restrictions, troublesome flights home and visa issues, and those challenges double.
The Daily reporter Magdalena Mihaylova talked to several students and faculty about various challenges and possible solutions facing international students as fall semester approaches.