If you’re in high school or college, and a little like how I was when I was that age, you might be considering going to America to study and realise your dreams. When I was that age, I was poorly prepared, but had a lot of enthusiasm and drive. I found my way to the United States of America on a scholarship to go through graduate school, after having completed my undergraduate work in India. I made a few mistakes and learnt a few lessons along the way.
I wrote this series of articles to share with young people who might have those same dreams that I did at the time, and hope that this helps them realising their own dreams.
When I started to write this piece, I wanted to reflect on the years that I had spent investing in my education. However, it would be a little empty without providing my readers with a little context. So I guess here would be a good point to provide a little introduction of who I am, and both how and why I went to America to get a degree.
I am from Generation Y and come from an upper-middle class Indian family. As life goes, I consider myself fortunate. My father is a surgeon, and my mother made sure that home was a safe and secure place to come back to. My parents got along better than most couples do, so I didn’t have the distractions of domestic conflict at home to have to deal with.
My good fortune also extends to what life provided me in my infancy. With my father being a surgeon (and a British qualified one at that), my parents and I moved to the United Kingdom when I was an infant – and hence, my first language is English. (This helped a lot – this very turn of events has ensured that I could command attention in a conversation in a corporate environment with the confidence of a native speaker. But I digress; this is about how one makes their way to the United States as an International student).
My life had its own set of twists and turns, and when I was 8, my family moved back to India.
Readjusting to life in India had its own challenges, and by the time I had made it to my 9th birthday, I had resolved to move overseas to the Western World as soon as I could. I had the passion, and the desire; but I really had no clue as to how I was going to make it to the US.
I finally moved to the United States of America as a Graduate student in January 2001. I had secured admission into the Masters Program at the University of Nebraska as a fully funded National Science Foundation scholar. This meant that I was going to get paid to get my degree.
In all honesty, I now feel that I had made it to this point in my life by having a little bit of luck and a small idea of where I was going. I also feel that if I was better informed, I would have been able to do the same a lot more smoothly.
This is my attempt at sharing some of my discoveries over time with other young individuals who may have aspirations to go overseas in pursuit of a dream that lies beyond the horizon that is nurtured.