International Student Spotlight: Meet Hamida Paiman

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Three photos including international student Hamida Paiman
Tuesday, July 9th

In the latest article in our International Student Spotlight series, we meet Hamida Paiman, from the Bamyan province of Afghanistan, who is studying data science at Rutgers University. Hamida is an Orientation Leader (OL) and will help out at our International Student Orientation, held in late August (and again in the spring semester). Our OLs volunteer their time and energy to ensure that new international students arriving to Rutgers feel welcomed and prepared to start their academic journey at Rutgers. Learn more about Hamida and her journey to Rutgers along with some of her favorite things.

Why did you choose to come to Rutgers?
I liked Rutgers and chose to come here because it is such a big school and diverse. There is so much too to do at Rutgers, and it never gets boring. As an international student, I think there are many resources for students and I feel very supported here at Rutgers.

What are you studying at Rutgers? 
I am majoring in data science and minoring in health administration. I love my classes and they are very interesting. 

Where is your favorite place on campus and why?
I have two favorite places at Rutgers. The first one is the Sonny Werblin Recreation Center on Busch. I like it because I usually go there to work out and play badminton with my friends. The second place is the Library of Science and Medicine, also on Busch, which is close to my dorm and a very nice place to study. I feel very productive there.

What is the thing that surprised you most when you came to Rutgers?
One thing that surprised me when I came to Rutgers was the number of international students here, which is a good thing. So far, I have met a lot of new people from different countries and made friends. 

What is your favorite restaurant in the area and why?
There are so many good restaurants and places to eat around New Brunswick. My favorite restaurant is Silk Road Restaurant which is an Afghan restaurant in Warren, New Jersey. It is about a 25-minute drive from New Brunswick downtown, but I like the place. It has a nice decoration and has my favorite Afghan dishes. 

What do you do when you are not studying? 
I hang out with my friends and play badminton in my free time. But one thing that I love the most is cooking in my spare time. I usually go to my sister’s house, and we cook a lot of food. (Check out this video where Hamida's sister, Masoma Paiman, makes Qabili Palaw.)

Why did you decide to become an Orientation Leader?
During my own orientation, I saw the orientation leaders who were very helpful to the new international students. They looked very cool, and I became very interested in being an Orientation Leader, so I decided to apply for it. 

What advice would you give to a new international student at Rutgers?
First, I congratulate all new international students on their admission to Rutgers. My big advice to them is to always get involved in activities around campus and enjoy their college life. Make friends and build a lot of fun and sweet memories from their college experience.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Currently, I am majoring in Data Science. I want to continue my journey and go to grad school at Princeton or MIT

Learn more about International Student Orientation, coming up on August 26-28. 2024.
Learn more about becoming an Orientation Leader.