Sikh Students Adjust to Life At SJSU

November 10, 2009

Author: Kyle Szymanski

Source: Spartan Daily

When he first came to this country from his native Punjab 15 months ago, it didn't take long for SJSU student Gurjaspal Singh to get a feeling of people in the United States.

An hour before he was about to board an airplane heading to San Diego from Chicago, he discovered he had lost his passport.

"If it would have happened in India, I would have been busted, but all the police officers and security staff were all so nice," Singh said. "I told them this is my first hour in the United States, and they said, 'You don't have to worry about anything.'"

His passport showed up 15 minutes before he was to board an airplane, but he said the experience foreshadowed what has become an easy transition living in the United States.

"This is where I got my first impression of people in the United States," said Singh, a graduate student in engineering. "When you enter like that, the people are so nice, so you feel like you are in a better place."

After arriving a week into the Fall 2008 semester with no permanent place to live near San Jose, he contacted SJSU's Sikh Students Association, which informed him that he could stay with one of its members for free.