Abhilasha Thapa from Nepal: Studying Accounting and Mathematics at Manhattanville College New York
Why did you decide to study in the USA?
The education system in the U.S. offers flexibility in terms of courses that are offered, which enables me to select my choice of subject from a variety of topics and complete my academic program with the added benefit of undertaking research projects. Also, as an international student, I have the opportunity to interact with people from different nationalities, which has taught me a lot about cultural enhancement.
Why did you choose Manhattanville College?
Manhattanville is a small community equipped with rigorous classes and faculty that never fails to stimulate my mind. The closeness to New York City also gives me access to opportunities, like internships and jobs, while I simultaneously learn major worldviews from the diversity on campus.
What do you like best?
What I like most about studying at Manhattanville is the relationships I have been able to build with faculty and administration in and out of my area of study. I love how the shared passions of the students, faculty and administration unite the campus community.
What do you miss most?
I miss my family, friends and being close to nature.
What was your biggest surprise?
The education system in the U.S. is very different than in Nepal. I was surprised and humbled by the availability of up to date technology and facilities.
How has this program helped you to handle future study at a U.S. university?
I’ve been here for two years and often when I explain/converse in English. It gives me a strong incentive to pronounce, phrase and find alternative ways to explain myself.
Manhattanville has exposed me to research areas and juggling work with studies, crucial factors for future study preparation.
... your biggest disappointment?
How have you handled:
... language differences?
I dealt with language differences from a small age as Nepal has 19 languages; therefore it was an easy transition.
Thanks to Manhattanville, I received a good scholarship and financial aid. Besides that, my parents finance 40 percent of my tuition and I work on campus over the semester and breaks for the remaining 60 percent.
... adjusting to a different educational system?
It’s easy to get a hang of the system after the first semester; professors and resources on campus are always available for help.
What are your activities?
Castle Scholar Honors Program; Duchesne Scholar for Community Service and Leadership; First Year Mentor; Peer Tutor; International Orientation Leader; Research Assistant (Eco, Fin & Management Department); UNICEF Club Member; Gay Straight Alliance; and International Student Organization (Advisory Board).
How easy or difficult was making friends?
Everybody is friendly and approachable; making friends is fairly easy due to the wide diversity.
How relevant is your U.S. education to your personal goals and to the needs of your country?
My goal is to finish my bachelor’s degree and work in the U.S. for a year in the field of risk analysis. Then, I want to return to Nepal to develop education models that combine financial and health skills. My U.S. education at Manhattanville is relevant for this goal, as it has exposed me to the latest technology, research and a solid network, which are all necessary to empower my country.
What is your advice to other students who are considering a U.S. education?
My advice to them is to work on improving their English through classroom education, but also through cultural interaction, opening their minds and being flexible. Studying in the U.S. is a special opportunity and I recommend Manhattanville to see how it feels to truly be part of a global academic program. Work hard and fight for your dreams!
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