Ramila Mukshairoeva came to Bloomington this January as a Junior Faculty Development Program (JFDP) fellow. Originally from Khorog, Tajikistan, she currently works as a manager and librarian and at the University of Central Asia’s Resource Center in Dushanbe. Intent on continuing her education and ultimately pursuing a graduate degree in information and library science, Ms. Mukshairoeva saw the opportunity to spend a semester as a visiting scholar here at IU as an important first step towards achieving her goals.
In between classes and her own research, Ms. Mukshairoeva took the time recently to chat with the IAUNRC’s e-News about her experiences at IUB, her academic objectives for the semester, and what she has found most surprising so far about America.
IAUNRC: What led you to apply to the JFDP program? What goals did you set for yourself before coming to Indiana?
Mukshairoeva: This was the first time I applied to the JFDP program – fortunately I was very successful! My main goal when I applied to the JFDP program was to increase my knowledge of my chosen field. I wanted to gain additional theoretical knowledge and practical experience about being a successful librarian. Of course, I also was interested in learning about American culture, making friends, and developing my language skills.
IAUNRC: Which classes are you taking here at IUB? Are these meeting your expectations?
Mukshairoeva: I am taking 3 classes at IUB. These are “Collection Development and Management,” “Introduction to Research,” and “Library Management.” All of these classes are very much meeting my expectations! Also, I have attended 2 classes on computer-based information tools, which provided me with some information on how to conduct library database and internet searches.
IAUNRC: Other than coursework, what have you found the most valuable so far at IUB?
Mukshairoeva: I have been very impressed by the Students Recreation Sports Center. I see how students here are interested in sports and a healthy lifestyle. I have also signed up for swimming classes, and am now enjoying these classes very much.
IAUNRC: What do you think of Bloomington and the IUB campus so far? What has surprised you about it?
Mukshairoeva: I liked the place right away. Even though it is winter, it is very beautiful – and I can imagine how it is in Bloomington in the summer! This is my first visit to the US and when I saw the university I was really surprised. The campus is very big with interesting buildings, lots of people and students almost from all over the world.
What has impressed me here the most is the Library. It is very large, modern, and you can find any sort of book or information that you will need there. I quite like working in the library reading room: it gives greater courage and desire to learn and study. I really like the place.
IAUNRC: What have you found difficult to adjust to here? Or, alternatively, easy?
Mukshairoeva: At first I thought I would have problems understanding people here, but I quickly found that I could easily catch what everyone was saying. And I got used to the American culture very quickly. The most difficult thing for me here is the food; I still cannot eat out. I like fast food, but maybe it is just because food is so different here than in my country – I’ve had trouble getting used to it. I cook at home mostly and make myself sandwiches that I take with me to the university.
Overall, though, I’ve been really happy to be here. In general I’d like to thank the JFDP program and Indiana University for considering and accepting my application. I’m very glad for the opportunity to realize my goals and make my future brighter.