Pratiksha Kharate from India is pursuing a Master of Science in Health Informatics degree at the University of Findlay in Findlay, Ohio.
Why did you decide to study in the USA?
The first reason I decided on the USA for my masters is the quality of education and practical approach in every concept we learn throughout the course. The course and assignments can be really flexible where we do not have to follow the same pattern to answer questions. We can use our capacity of imagining and thinking to perform academic tasks rather than following what our books say. Secondly the beautiful environment and lifestyle. The USA gives us the perfect environment to thrive in. We can develop ourselves toward success and achieve career goals.
Why did you choose the University of Findlay?
MS in Health Informatics program is offered by very few universities as compared to other programs. Of the universities I shortlisted, the University of Findlay impressed me by way of communication and attentiveness. Whenever I had doubts about my admission, documents or even immigration issues, the University of Findlay was always there to immediately help me. Due to this reason, I felt very secure before stepping out of my country and making such a long journey.
What do you like best?
Firstly, my program is very new in the healthcare industry which gives it more importance and opportunities to do various research. Every course is new and full of information I have not learned about previously; this helps make me a constant learner throughout the course. Secondly, the staff is very supportive and friendly to interact with. I never have to hesitate before asking any query arising in my mind.
What do you miss most?
Apart from being away from your family, old friends, and all festive seasons, I rarely miss anything. I have adjusted myself to the new culture here which is really not too hard to understand and even engage in. People are very kind and sweet toward international students, which fills that gap of being away from your home and your country.
What was your biggest surprise?
Utilization of all new technologies available on the market during the education is one surprise. We communicate with professors via emails and blackboard which is very easy. I do not have to physically be present at professor’s office to talk to them. There are so many differences in the education system here as compared to our education system in India.
... your biggest disappointment?
There is nothing actually to be disappointed with. My experience so far has been amazing.
How have you handled:
... language differences?
When you live in the environment speaking a different language for a long period of time, you get used to it. Observation and studying the language makes it easy to communicate with society.
I work as a Student Assistant at the International Admissions Office. This helps me to manage a few of my expenses and the rest I manage through an education loan taken from a bank.
... adjusting to a different educational system?
Professors help me to understand the educational system. Also, we have a lot of on-campus resources such as Writing Center, Career Development Center, Information Technology Support, and English Language Learners Support Center.
What are your activities?
I have been volunteering for the Travel the Globe event on campus for two years. I have been a part of a Leadership Retreat event that traveled to Cleveland in 2017.
How relevant is your U.S. education to your personal goals and to the needs of your country?
Healthcare industries are growing in India as well but there are no rules and regulations when it comes to patient’s health information management. After completing the course, I would like to utilize my knowledge and work in an organization where I can implement new policies and procedures.
What is your advice to other students who are considering a U.S. education?
I think students would make a good choice by deciding on a program they want to study. They can utilize various sources on campus such as recreational activities, library and the Career Development Center in order to grow personally and professionally.