Aksa Saji from India is studying biology at Delaware County Community College (DCCC)

Aksa Saji from India is studying biology at Delaware County Community College (DCCC)

She will graduate in May 2020 with an associate’s degree and will transfer to West Chester University to complete the last two years of her bachelor’s degree. She plans to become a doctor.

Why did you decide to study in the USA?

My family moved to the U.S. in June 2018 as immigrants, and thus I decided to move along with them to pursue my dream, as the U.S. is well known for its top medical schools.

Why did you choose this particular college or university? What attracted you about your school?

When I first came to the U.S., I was a high school graduate and wasn’t sure how the colleges here worked. Then, my uncles and aunts who are also graduated from DCCC recommended this school to me for its diversity. Everything about this college attracted me, from its location which is just five minutes away from my house, to — most importantly — offering the courses I was looking for. 

The best thing about my school is that EVERYBODY IS WELCOME HERE, no matter what place you come from, race or ethnicity, everybody here is treated equally and respectfully. The campus location is mesmerizing and the area in which my college is located is humongous and beautiful.

What do you like best about your program or university?

The best thing about my college is that it provides its students with lots of different options of classes according to our convenience. The next best thing, which is also personally important to me, is the quality teaching provided by each of my professors, who are friendly and ready to help their students.

What do you miss most about home?

I miss my friends. Most are back home pursuing their majors.

What was your biggest surprise about U.S. life and education?

It was a huge transition for me when I moved here with my family. My biggest surprise was how different the education system is in the U.S. compared to back in my country.

... your biggest disappointment?

To be honest, so far, I don’t have any disappointments. I am happy and grateful for the opportunities that God has given me in my life.

How have you handled:
... language differences?

At first, I was really scared to even speak as my accent and pronunciation of most words was totally different as, back in my school, we followed a British English curriculum. Eventually, I really got adjusted and comfortable with my pronunciation and the other differences in the language.

... finances?

I always remember the first poster I noticed in the admissions office at my college for work study. The day my classes started, I went to our student employment office and completed the paperwork. I was also a recipient for the scholarship which was provided by my school.

... adjusting to a different educational system?

I was fortunate enough to move as soon as I graduated from high school and never really got to experience how the colleges in India work or to feel the differences, so the transition was quite easy for me. 

What are your activities?

Currently, I serve as the vice president of the Student Government Association (SGA), a college funded organization which acts as a voice of the students. I am also a student representative in the curriculum review committee. In this committee, each year, we go through the course policies and requirements for different courses available at the college. I am also a  Phi Theta Kappa member, which is an honor society.

How easy or difficult is making friends in the USA?

It was difficult for me to make friends for the first few days, as I had different students in different classes, which was just opposite of my school back home, where I had the same friends in the same classes. This was the main reason I joined my SGA organization, and eventually I made a lot of friends who are like my family now.

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

My career goal is to become a doctor. My U.S. education is very relevant to my personal goals as, here, there are more opportunities for those seeking them. Also, with the skills that I acquire here, I can also help my people back in India by building hospitals that have all the facilities in the poor regions of my country, as these people can’t afford the medical bills of the multispecialty hospitals in cities.

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

The only advice I have for those who are looking at studying here is that the U.S. is a place where you can find lots of opportunities. It’s okay if you don’t want to be a doctor. Here, you can find many other options that interest you. It is ok if you are 50+ and still want to study, as the community colleges here welcome everyone open-heartedly. And last, always stay connected and build a good and healthy relationship with everyone.

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Aksa Saji from India

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