Ananya Khanna from India: Studying for a Transfer Degree at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, California

Ananya Khanna from India: Studying for a Transfer Degree at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, California

Why did you decide to study in the USA?

It had always been my goal and aspiration to come to the U.S. for my further education. The U.S. offers high quality education and the flexibility to explore my different interests.

Why did you choose Foothill College?

Foothill College very is well-reputed and a great college with transfer agreements with many prestigious universities.

Mathematics has always been my weakness and it became a roadblock in achieving my goals of applying to top universities. Since I was weaker in math it would result in not such a great SAT or ACT score, which would lower my chances of getting accepted to my top choices. Foothill College gave me the chance to achieve my dreams without having to give these tests and undergoing the stress and pressures of it since I can apply to top universities like the University of California campuses (UCs) without the SAT.

What do you like best?

Foothill has a wonderful faculty, with friendly professors, instructors, and counselors who are willing to help and guide you at any time of the day. I also have the opportunity to be part of so many activities that occur on campus.

What do you miss most?

I miss my family and my pet husky. Most of all, I miss being pampered.

What was your biggest surprise?

The mindset of people is so different, in terms of competition, lifestyle and education. I feel there are far less societal pressures and expectations about what you will study. The way of teaching here is also quite different. There is more learning and support from your classmates than mugging.

How have you handled:

... finances?

Because I was so sheltered and pampered at home I was never conscious about my spending. However, coming here has made me more responsible in terms of handling and managing my finances.

... adjusting to a different educational system?

I learn new things here every single day. I love the way of teaching here; there are always interesting projects and research for us to explore. For example, in my Psychology class, we participated in the Stanford Research Experiments at Stanford University. I have become way more responsible and punctual because of the education system too.

What are your activities?

I am head of the Meditation and Mindfulness club. I also ran for the student government elections and I was elected to be a Senator. I am also going to try out for the dance and cheer team because of my passion for dance. I also like traveling around the Bay Area and discovering new things and activities; I go for hikes with friends and I even went skydiving!

How easy or difficult was making friends?

Being an extrovert and social person it was not very difficult for me to make new friends. I met wonderful people with similar goals at the ASFC-Associate Students of Foothill College, who were very warm and welcoming! Foothill also has a mentorship program and my mentor is my best friend now.

How relevant is your U.S. education to your personal goals and to the needs of your country? 

I aspire to do my PhD in Psychology. Criminology on the other hand is not well recognized in my country therefore studying in the U.S. and gathering as much as I can from here will help me in the years to come.

What is your advice to other students who are considering a U.S. education?

Life is not smooth sailing and there will come times where you will need to come out of your shell. Moving away from your home, family and friends and shifting to a completely new and different lifestyle is a very big step. I have grown as a person and I have done it all by myself with the support of my family. It makes me proud that I have gained so much more confidence and maturity due to my exposure to new things and ideas. Don’t be scared because you are going to be just fine with all of the support on the campus and it will definitely be worth it.

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