Though Kush arrived in the U.S. in August 2021, it didn’t feel like he had left his home country of India. Living in Manhattan, New York he was still surrounded by his uncle’s family.
It wasn’t until he decided to transfer to the University of Dayton in Ohio that fears began to creep in. Who would he rely on for his questions and needs? Who would help him find housing? “Questions like these used to haunt me night and day,” Kush says.
Before he left NYC, Kush met an IFI volunteer who connected him with IFI Dayton. Kush still had doubts, but he soon came to realize he was in good hands.
“When I finally met [the Dayton team], I had one of those ‘I am glad that I was wrong’ moments,” he reflects. The staff became fast friends who helped him get groceries every week and invited him into conversations about music, art, and spirituality.
And when a spot opened up in the Lighthouse, a house gifted to IFI by a volunteer, Kush happily moved in, relieved that his housing concerns would be taken care of and delighted that he could live with people he trusted.
Kush might be far from family, but living among IFI staff and students has blessed him with a new sweet community. “IFI is wrongly called ‘International Friendships,’” Kush says. “It should be ‘International Family,’ for the amount of love, concern, and care that we get, develop, and share.”