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Kumar keeps his cool in the U.S.

FRI. |3-3-23| FEATURES

     Four thousand miles.

     That is how far sophomore John Kumar is from his friends and family in his hometown of Bath, England. Kumar is a new student to Rose, but contrary to what many believe after hearing his accent, he is not new to eastern North Carolina.

     “[I moved] in December of 2020… but I was in the Farmville area,” Kumar said. “Now I live in Winterville in the Rose area.”

     Kumar has had little trouble adjusting to life at Rose after transferring in for the second semester. It did take him a little time to figure out Refresh as  

UK kid.JPG

Photo by Gabi Castillo

they do not have it at Farmville Central. However, he says in terms of England versus North Carolina, the initial difference he noticed when he moved was the weather.

     “In England it’s always cold and rainy, but when I got here it was really hot and it gets a lot hotter here than it does in England,” Kumar said.

     After starting school in the U.S., Kumar began to see how different his day-to-day life was going to be.

     “At my specific school [in England], we had five classes a day that were an hour each, and we had break time and lunch time,” Kumar said. “Break time and lunch time are kind of like recess in elementary school, everyone would go outside and play football [soccer]; it was a 45 minute break where you could do whatever you wanted.”

     Soccer is the most popular sport in England and the UK, and Kumar has grown up loving the game. Kumar has supported Arsenal, one of the best teams in England's highest division, since he was little. However, he grew up playing much more than just soccer.

     “I played football, a sport called cricket which you don’t play here, and I played a bunch more sports for my school,” Kumar said. “I played field hockey, rugby, and basketball for my school, and also did a lot for my church because I sing and play the piano.”

     Aside from many of the most popular sports being different here in the U.S., Kumar also says Greenville is very different from his hometown.

     “Bath was a lot more historical because England is so much older than America, there’s stuff built by the Georgians and then Romans,” Kumar said. “Bath was bigger than Greenville but Greenville has grown a lot recently.”

     A large part of this growth is East Carolina University, which is another portion of U.S. society that Kumar had to adjust to.

     “In England you finish secondary school in year 11, which is 10th grade,” Kumar said. “Then you have this thing you can choose to do called sixth form, which is year 12 and 13 or 11th and 12th grade.”

     Kumar went on to explain that you either do sixth form or go to college, but in the UK, college and university mean different things. College is like trade school whereas university is more of what Americans call college. To go to university one must go through sixth form. If Kumar was still in England he would most likely go through sixth form.

     “I haven’t 100 percent decided yet but right now I am looking to do medicine,” Kumar said. “I have wanted to do medicine since I was young, I’ve had a passion for it for a long time.”

     Kumar admits that he misses his friends and extended family back in the UK a lot, but he is enjoying his time in Greenville.

      “I would describe the transition to Rose this far as quite smooth, everyone was really welcoming and it was quite easy to get the hang of things,” Kumar said.

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