Hey, my name is Shivam Sharma. I was born in India, in the city of Dehradun. When I was 4 years old, my family and I moved to Canada. I had many questions about my new surroundings and that curiosity is what brought out my interest in exploring new places. My family would move to different cities around Toronto. Although at the time I despised having to start all over and make new friends, but it made me realize home isn’t just a physical place, it’s the feeling of comfort you get around loved ones.
When I graduated high school, I felt comfort in knowing I would be happy no matter where I was, and I looked at new opportunities as adventures. Little did I know that my enthusiasm for getting out and exploring would bring me to Iowa. When I first moved to Iowa, it was definitely a culture shock, coming from a heavily populated city in Canada to the town of Grinnell, Iowa, which has a population of around 9,000 people. Having that contrast in environment really helped me form a view from an alternate perspective.
Once I finally got accustomed to living that Iowan lifestyle, my professor at the college I attended brought up this opportunity to learn in the field of hospitality while gaining cultural experience abroad in China. Soon as I heard about the program, I could already imagine myself being submerged in the culture and began seeing myself in a brand new environment. Once again my mind was filled with curiosity about all the things I have no idea about.