Life at FIU

Guest Post: Santiago Chirino, Global First Year student

Family photo of a FIU Global student

During the month of February, we are doing something new here on the blog! We have invited our students to “guest post” and share their favorite FIU/Global First Year memories. Our second guest post is written by Santiago Chirino, one of our students from Mexico.

Santiago Chirino and his family smiling

It is early in the morning, the sun is coming out, and I am on my way to the airport…

This is not the first time that I travel by myself, but it’s different this time because I’m leaving and I  don’t know when would I come back…

We are getting closer to the airport and my mind is full of insecurities and ideas of how my life would be like in a few hours.

My dad walked with me to check in for my flight, and suddenly the memory of us walking together  on my first day of elementary school flashed in my mind and that is when I realize that the feeling was the same, going to a new experience without the backup and support of my family.

I am about to go through security, and the time to say goodbye is here, I hug my sister while I say, “Please take care of them, mom and dad, they need you to be happy!” I didn’t finish my sentence before she started to cry. I turn to my father, the man who raised me and is now is looking at me with crying eyes, while he says, “Son, please take care of yourself, never forget that we love you and most important… never forget that we are proud of you!” I still have those words in my mind every time I wake up in the morning.

I look into my mother’s eyes, but we don’t need words. “I love you” she said, breaking into tears and giving me a hug. “Good luck!” I heard while I was waiting in the line, and for one last time I looked back, to say goodbye.

The time passed and I looked throw the window… I was looking at my new home! The plane finally landed and I was finally in Miami – a new life and a fresh start. When I finished the immigration process and picked up my luggage, I came out to find a Global First Year representative, there to escort me to campus, she was amazing! My heartbeat was crazy – I had all kind of ideas of how my room would look, how the people would act, etc. I came out of the car and stepped into “Everglades Hall” or as I call it now, home.

The whole crew of Global First Year was there waiting for me – ready and willing to help me with anything I needed. They showed me to my room, then told me that we where having a pizza party in the building’s lounge, so I went down to meet the rest of the students!

I made a lot of friends that night, a whole new story was about to start and at once, I felt at home. A day full of different feelings, thoughts and a dream – a dream that was about to start! Because all of this and more, my first day in Miami as part of Global First Year was the most memorable experience, but it was followed by many more stories.


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