Marzieh Ayati

What made you want to study at a U.S. university and CWRU in particular? 
I wanted to have experience and knowledge of western culture. Moreover, U.S. universities are excellent in the higher education and research. The big companies in my area are also in U.S. and there would be lots of good opportunities here.

CWRU has a good ranking all over the nation especially in my major and it is also a top research university. There are lots of CWRU alumni who are famous in my major. However, my adviser and his research area were the main reasons for me to be at CWRU.

What do you miss most about your home country? 
I miss my family a lot; the mom-cooked food. I miss the national events and the culture that people care about each other and visiting each other periodically.

How has your global perspective changed now that you have studied in the U.S.? 
U.S. is not just the place for Americans. I have made friends with different nationalities, languages and cultures. I learn how to communicate with them and understand their way of thinking. I learn how diversity can make intellectual engagement. I learn how we are different and similar at the same time.

Name one thing about studying in the states that you were surprised was actually true: 
The relationship between students and faculties and university staffs. They are so friendly, understanding and helpful.

What is your favorite spot on campus? 
ISS [International Student Services] office. It was the first place that I went when I entered CWRU. ISS staffs are always welcoming and kind. Moreover, I really enjoy watching people with different nationality and culture walking around.

What is a fun place you have visited in the Cleveland area? 
Cedar Point is my favorite place close to Cleveland. In Cleveland, Chagrin Falls is a fun place because of the beautiful nature, great ice cream stores and nice restaurants.

Name one thing you tried for the first time while studying at CWRU, and did you like it? 
I experienced several things for the first time:

  • Studying in different language, different environment and different culture which was a big challenge for me;
  • Playing "Human vs. Zombie" on campus as my very first activity. It was so fun;
  • Accommodating some new Iranian students who were strangers in my home. I remember my first hard days that I came to U.S. and I did not have friends. After that I decided to help new coming students. Therefore, I made a group called Iranian Society. We organize lots of events to gather Iranians. We try to make Cleveland as a second home for Iranian students. It was so challenging but helping people always make me happy and satisfied; and
  • Being in Graduate Student Senate. It is so exciting to be a voice of graduate students.

What was your favorite class at CWRU, and why? 
The System Biology course I took with my adviser, Dr. Koyuturk. His class was research-based. I learned how to review papers in a critical way and how not to be just a listener in the class.

What would you like to do after you have completed your educational experience at CWRU? 
I have not made my mind yet to stay in academia or going to industry, but I know that I would like to pursue my research instead of just programming.

What advice would you give to students arriving to study at CWRU? 
Be open-minded and welcome different cultures. Have fun and enjoy the life so that whenever you think about this period of your life, a smile appears on your face. We are all unique in some way, so try to add value to the community.