Adviti (Addy) Bali
What is your favorite campus tradition?
I love the unique culture each dorm has on campus and how they all host dances each year. If your dorm wins ‘Hall of the Year’ you get to host your dance at the golden dome which is absolutely stunning.
What is your favorite spot on campus?
Like many others, I find peace and solace at the Grotto. The first time I visited it was Freshman Year Welcome Weekend and I fell in love with it. Any day I am stressed, a walk to the lakes and Grotto is my go to.
What is your best Notre Dame memory?
I remember experiencing snow for the first time in the fall of 2018 with all my international friends. We danced in the snow and admired how beautiful each tiny snowflake was. Of course, following that, the famous snowball fight on the quads was a ton of fun.
What is your favorite Dining Hall Meal?
The breakfast omelet station is my favourite. There is nothing better than a hot omelet with ham and cheese (or the topping of your choice). It is the best way to start the morning.
What is your favorite thing about dorm life?
Living with or one door down from your best friends is the dream! Friends become family and the dorm becomes home. Coming home to people who are excited to see you and talk about your day is the best feeling. Also, the RAs are the best. They decorate each section beautifully and are always there to make sure you are okay.
What clubs/activities are you involved in?
I am the President of the RareND Club at Notre Dame that raises awareness of rare diseases on campus. I am also doing research on rare diseases at the Boler-Parseghian Centre for Rare and Neglected diseases. Pharmaceutical companies do not research this niche because of the lack of market demand and return on investment. However, there are still patients that suffer from these incurable diseases and have no support to lean on. I like to think we are helping those families and giving them hope.
What made you choose Notre Dame?
I met with alumni from a number of universities to ask about their experiences. Only Notre Dame graduates spoke about it with such passion and enthusiasm and wanted to go back to relive their years. I could not visit, but everyone I spoke to painted a beautiful image of the family and home they had at Notre Dame!
What is your favorite part about being an international student at Notre Dame?
People here admire you for being different. Coming from another culture 3000 miles away, makes one interesting and you did not have to hide who you are. Everyone accepted me for who I am (with all my quirks) and I was able to integrate into the culture without losing my identity.
How did you adjust to life on campus?
It took me a while to get used to the way things work here. Everything was just so different. I also asked a LOT of questions (no question is a stupid question) and everyone was extremely helpful. Speaking to other international students was always relatable and comforting.
How do you celebrate your culture/heritage at ND?
The South Asian Student Association has fun events like SAMOSA (South Asians Meeting Other South Asians) to eat cultural food and get to know other Asians. We also celebrate events like Diwali and Holi on campus and people from all cultures came to celebrate with us. The Asian American Association is another great way to connect with people from similar backgrounds. They hold a retreat each semester and that is where I met my best friend!
What advice do you have for international students?
Keep an open mind. Just because you grew up across the world does not mean you are very different. Everyone our age are going through similar experiences and are equally anxious. Make the first move, go up to someone and say hi! Lastly, you were not accepted here by mistake. You were chosen from thousands of applicants because you have something special. Everyone is really smart, but so are you. Just work hard and do not forget to enjoy!