- Charu! Tell me about your experience choosing where to study. Did you go to student fairs in your home country as a high school student? If not, how did you research?
I was determined to find the best university offering courses on computer science with speciality in Data engineering. I researched programs offered and patents/researches done by faculty. Cost of education was also an important factor to consider.
- What factors influenced where you studied? Were you between different universities that offered different programs or different geographic areas of the US?
I was always intrigued by Silicon Valley and the sunny California climate, so that was an obvious choice.Living and studying in L.A was a dream come true.
- What were you most excited about studying abroad internationally for graduate school?
I was most excited to meet people from different cultures and backgrounds, share experiences, debate theories and find good networking opportunities.
- What were you most nervous about?
Staying away from my family and figuring out how to survive in a new country where I barely knew anyone, making connections and friends.
- Tell us about how you prepared for your trip! Did you have an agent that helped connect you with agents? (We work with agencies and study abroad programs to help students get set-up so we’re curious about this!)
No, I did not use any agency as I had friends and family who were in the States, they helped guide me through the process and advised me throughout.
- Do you remember what you did for wireless service? (be specific if possible if you can!)
I used T-Mobile and we had to start a family plan with a few friends which also needed a hefty deposit as we had no credit history. If I was aware of prepaid services like Ultra or Mint, it would have been so much easier.
- Did you experience culture shock? What was the hardest part of adjusting?
With the internet bringing the world closer day by day, culture shocks are much less probable these days. Although, it was hard adjusting to living away from family, sharing a house with other students and cooking meals. It took me months to reprogram myself to stop converting all expenses to INR and thinking everything is so expensive here.
- What was the most exciting or surprising part of adjusting to the US?
The most exciting part has to be meeting people not only from different cultures, but different countries and learning about them and their countries and forming bonds and friendships with them.