As a child, David Ariando dreamed of studying computers and electronics in the United States. When he decided to pursue a graduate degree, he made that dream come true. Now, he's pursuing a PhD in Electrical Engineering and enjoying life in Cleveland. Read on to find out how studying at CWRU has changed David’s worldview for the better.
What made you want to study at a US university and CWRU in particular?
My parents introduced me to computers when I was very young, which I was so fascinated by that it made me want to learn computer technologies. Soon enough I learnt that many of these technologies were developed in the USA. Since then, my dream was to continue my studies in the USA. After I got my bachelor degree, I applied for a scholarship and CWRU was one of many universities that was recommended by the scholarship foundation. I was interested in Integrated Circuit and found that CWRU had research for it, so I came here.
How has your global perspective changed now that you have studied in the U.S.?
I guess it's true that the more we know people, the more we care about them. I used to care only for my country. But since I came to U.S. I learnt many things from friends from different cultures, background, visions, which I love to hear about. They are all beautiful. So no matter how different we could be, I realized that we should make this world better by having worldwide collaboration. It is best to unite, as we live in the same earth anyway. Simple example, I feel like the advancement of technology or science should be spread out all over the world, and hopefully everybody can take a good advantage of it. I hope that in the end people will love one another which makes the world more peaceful.
Name one thing about studying in the U.S. that you had heard about before arriving and was surprised it was actually true.
I heard that everything is expensive in U.S., especially everything that needs man power [to get done]. I was surprised when I arrived in the U.S. and learned that it's even much, much more expensive than I ever thought. No wonder many things are self-service here in the U.S. It's a good thing and it makes life better for people who work. On the other hand, I learnt how to better value people’s time and effort and be more appreciative of people.
Name one thing you tried for the first time while studying a CWRU. Did you like it?
I tried skiing one day, hoping that my video footage would be as cool as in an action movie. Of course it didn't work that way, and my body was in pain at the end of the day. But I still loved it! Someday I will be able to master it if I keep trying.
What advice would you give to other international students arriving to study at CWRU?
It is really an interesting journey being an international, as you will learn many different things people bring from their countries. Most of us might be together in CWRU (or the U.S.) only for a period of our life, so be open to diversities and be more observant of different cultures. Listen more, and you will learn more. Also do not forget to share things that are unique from your culture; they are all beautiful. After all this, be happy and be nice to people.
What is your favorite place to visit in the Cleveland area?
I like Edgewater park, a good place to hang out and relax. Or generally I like every place where I can see Lake Erie. If it's a little bit outside Cleveland, it will be Cedar Point, a great amusement park.
What do you miss most about your home country?
I miss many things. One of them is spicy food I used to eat, although interestingly last time I went back home after 3 years, my stomach couldn't handle it anymore. I miss year-long summer; I never needed to check the weather before going out, as it's always more than 70F. Back then, I even brought jacket when it's 70F cause it's cold for me. I guess hanging out with family and friends is surely the thing I miss the most, as there are certainly things that can only be understood by people with whom we grew up, e.g. some jokes that only works in our own language, or silly behavior that is fun to do. It somehow doesn't work anywhere else.
What would you like to do after finishing your studies at CWRU?
I want to work in one of the electronics companies in the U.S. to fulfill my childhood dream. Afterwards, I'll go back to my home country and hopefully contribute to make life better there.