Finding Food in the US for International DietsTweet
Trying new food can be part of the fun of studying in another country, but for international students with special dietary requirements, finding appropriate food also can be a challenge.
The Herald, the student newspaper at Arkansas State University, reported last month that some of the school’s nearly 400 international students cross state lines simply to find the food their diets require.
“I have to ride with someone who is going to Memphis (Tennessee) so I can get enough groceries to last up to six months,” said Sindhu Kaimal, an international students representative on the school’s Graduate Student Council, in the article by Holly Morse.
To Arkansas State’s credit, the university is trying to do something about the issue. The school’s International Scholars Committee is distributing a survey to international students that includes a question asking if they think their dietary needs are being met.
Unfortunately, finding the right food can be a real problem for students who attend a college in a rural area or in a community that doesn’t already have a group of residents from your home country.
Large grocery store chains often have a section specifically for international food, and small neighborhood grocers and restaurants even may cater to people from certain countries. But even if these stores are available, they may be difficult to reach without a car or an excellent public transportation system.
If you have special dietary requirements, ask other students or your school’s international student services office what they suggest. For some smaller items, such as spices, it may make sense to order them over the internet and have them delivered straight to your door.