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The winning team of the Holi Food fight organized by IBC and Kellogg Cares
The winning team of the Holi Food fight organized by IBC and Kellogg Cares

Integrating exchange students into a b-school’s culture and student life is tough given the intensive nature of the MBA. Getting exchangers involved is even tougher in programs with bigger class sizes as there are fewer common classes with other students. However, as I sit down to reflect to write this blog on my experience at Kellogg, I realize that I have become completely immersed in the culture of the school. And Kellogg student clubs and events have played a major role in helping me achieve this level of immersion.

On an exchange, one is away from one’s normal circle of friends and family. This compounds the cultural shock of landing in a new country with different customs and culture. So getting the right friends quickly is important to deal with such situations. I was lucky enough to find student clubs here that were of interest and through these was able to meet nice people and form friendships that will last beyond my three months here.

Some of the clubs that I have been part of include:

India Business Club — The two events that I have been to brought out all kinds of emotions in me. The first one was a Bollywood movie, a romantic comedy Barfi. With some good food and great company, this was a perfect Friday night. The next event, organized by IBC in association with Kellogg Cares, was the Holi Food fight. As someone who hasn’t played Holi for years, this one brought back memories of my childhood. For those two hours, I was not an exchanger but a Bulldog team member (Bullfrog + Big dog).

The Francophone Connection – A French crêpe party that was organized side-by-side with the Super Bowl helped me get in touch with French-speaking students leading to philosophical discussions on the differences between American and French cultures and lifestyles.

Personal Sustainability Club – With the free yoga lessons on Tuesdays and an active Facebook group, this one helped me unwind physically and mentally.

Soccer Club – Soccer practice on Mondays and Wednesdays helped me stay in shape.

My life here at Kellogg has been richer thanks to these clubs and their members. And yes, thanks to the other clubs that organize TGIF, especially Kellogg Marketing Club for the T-shirt and Women’s Business Association for the chocolate fondue!

Sriram Raghavan (@sriram_raghavan) is an exchange student from ESSEC Business School ’13.