You sure have no idea about how excited I am to blog on this space once again ! Ok, so as much as I abstain myself from beginning on a negative note, I cannot help but say that I don’t have much of a life story to tell nor am I a very good writer, but like every young heart, I do have a lot of dreams, ideas, and new experiences everyday to talk about. And that’s exactly what I’m going to be doing in my blogs here.
Let me start off by introducing myself: My name is Shachi and I am currently studying at the University of Iowa. I was born and raised in the city of Amdavad (doesn’t that actually sound better than ‘Ahmedabad’?!) in Gujarat. After my high school, I decided to study law and got into the Symbiosis Law School, Pune to do an integrated 5-year BA LLB course.
So then what am I doing in Iowa right now?! Well, here I go:
Towards the end of my first year in Symbiosis, I came across a flier titled “STEAM, 2012″ posted by the IKC on our college bulletin board. IKC was organizing its first study-abroad-summer-programme for the Indian students at the University of Iowa. I was extremely excited to be a part of this program; I’d never been abroad before this let alone the idea of studying abroad! I talked to my parents about it and they were very supportive of this idea. I went ahead and contacted the Center of International Studies of my college who connected me with the IKC Program Managers, Jen and Suma, .
In May, 2012, I visited the University of Iowa (UI or U of I) along with a group of 5 other students to do a 3-credit course. I chose to do a course on “Feminism” but in those 3 weeks of my experience at the UI, I learnt not just about feminism but also about life abroad: the culture here, its people, different places, different habits and mannerisms (you can read about my fellow participants’ and my experience at STEAM in our previous blogs) STEAM was indeed a very enriching first-hand experience at studying abroad and in just a period of over 3-weeks, I decided that this is where I wanted to pursue my further studies from. I talked to Mr. Girish Ballolla, the CEO of GenNext Education who was with us during our first few days at the UI, about my plans. Mr. Ballolla was very helpful in connecting me with the University’s International Admissions’ Office and guiding me with the admission process as well. At the same time, Jen and Suma, our program managers were also very helpful and supportive as I applied to the University’s Fall Semester. And voila, all our efforts turned out to be successful! I got admitted to the U of I’s Fall Semester as an International Transfer Student. After completing STEAM, I went back home for a month and returned to Iowa in August to commence my semester.
Unlike India, the American education system requires a student to complete graduation before pursuing a professional degree like law. Since I was a law student, selecting an altogether new area of major for my undergraduation was like making a huge transition. So I decided to keep my major open while I took some time off to decide what I wanted to major in.
STEAM is one of the best things that has happened to me. I would especially like to thank the team of IKC: Mr. Girish Ballolla, Jen, and Suma for helping me pursue my dream of studying abroad. Like me, if you are one of those students who is planning to study abroad, either for a short-term or a long-term, IKC is the best organization to work with. It has some of the best advisers who can give you the most appropriate guidance as you go about following your dreams of studying abroad. When working with IKC, you’re in the best of hands: the team’s well-experienced members will give you the most resourceful advice on any issues concerning the Universities’ admission procedures. And while they help you unburden by providing with the smallest and most accurate bit of information that goes into a successful completion of your admission process, you have the time and opportunity to take your dreams to the next big level!
In my upcoming posts, I will try and talk about every possible aspect of an international student’s college life: my take on the education system here, my classes, my accommodation, the activities on-campus and the everyday experiences I undergo as I experiment with an altogether new culture! Alongside, I’m also meaning to share my ideas through this blog and discovering a newer perspective of looking at them as I go along putting them in words. For anybody looking forward to studying abroad, my blogs will be a means to anticipate their college-life abroad and get a taste of this experience even before they’re here! Please excuse any typographical or grammatical errors. And yes, any questions, discussions or feedback are always welcome.
Keep watching this space, there’s a lot more to come..