My Life in Utah and Georgia

Filed in Exchange Visitor Reflections by on July 28, 2014 0 Comments

Mayur Shukla is from Bilimora, Gujarat, India and is completing a training program in microbiology in Springdale, UT.

1I arrived in Utah last year on Thanksgiving Day. At first sight, I was really amazed to see the beautiful mountains. It was almost fall, and I saw snow covering the mountain tops and it was very pretty! It was my very first experience to such a new weather condition.

I started my training at a company called Arlington Scientific Inc., Utah. It was really nice to meet all the people there.

Utah is little, quiet place. It has beautiful amusement parks, movie theaters, shopping malls, and very convenient grocery stores. Most Friday nights, I go out with my friends to see movies. Sometimes on Sunday, I go to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) to attend their sacrament meeting with the president of my training center. At their church, I learned some things about Jesus Christ. People whom I met in church are very keen to know about my home country, food, and culture. I got a chance to interact with them and also shared my culture. Many of my LDS friends always ask about the Indian food I cook and they want to know why Indian food is so diverse. I shared a presentation about Indian food with them, and now they know about different Indian food styles rather than just “Indian curries”.

2I took part in the “color festival” at Lotus temple (Spanish Fork, Utah). In India we call it “Holi Festival.” It was the first time I saw a crowd of more than 50,000 people in Utah celebrating color festival. It’s different from India.

After finishing approximately five months of training in Utah, I got an opportunity to visit Georgia for my advance training at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta. There, I interacted with the experienced scientist of CDC. I liked laboratory facilities, online training methods, and the group meeting of CDC. During my training period, I stayed in a hotel called the “Villa International Atlanta.” This place is very unique in many ways! Most of the people who are staying here do research work at CDC and are from the different countries. So far, I have met here people from more than 25 countries. During my stay, I learned many things about their home culture. At the same time I also shared something about Indian culture, Indian music, Indian food, and festivals with all my friends there.

Georgia is really a beautiful state and it has many things which are of interest. On almost every weekend, my hotel arranged a tour for all the guests to visit different places, and that’s how I came to know American Rodeo, the Martin Luther King Museum, Stone Mountain, and many other interesting places. In addition to that, I took a tour of the Georgia Aquarium (which is the most unique aquarium that I had ever seen), Chattanooga Aquarium, and Zoo Atlanta, Coca Cola Company, and CNN News Center. This tour was very informative, especially for me as I haven’t been exposed to such things in my life before. My supervisor at CDC took me to a baseball game. I learned some fundamental things about this game from him as he used to play baseball in his school. I had also learned the skill of assay development for Syphilis from him. I had really good time while training under him at CDC.

Utah is very pretty state as it has exceptionally beautiful mountains. Georgia is very pretty too, with lots of trees. Climate is different in both states, and I enjoyed working with these two states. However I really enjoyed training with CDC. I had really good time during my stay in Georgia.

I really do appreciate the opportunity that American Immigration Council gives me to learn at a training center in Utah and in Georgia. I also do appreciate their constant support and encouragement of the Immigration Council to the overseas students so that they can explore America and learn more things about it. This unique experience will help me in many ways in my future ahead.