Name:               Rakshith

Classification:   Alumni

Major:              Computer Science

Hometown:      Bangalore, India


Why did you decide to attend college in the U.S.? Why did you choose UNI?

            Education in the United States is focused on developing practical knowledge and towards learning skills that go beyond just the major. The course work as part of the liberal arts core enables a student to have an intellectual conversation over a wide range of topics that extend beyond the major. The diverse course work opens up opportunities for students to find ways of applying the skills learned in the major to areas outside it.

            I was very lucky to have the opportunity to apply for the Presidential Scholarship and was honored when I was awarded the scholarship. The International Admissions office was very helpful in giving the information I needed and more importantly, in making me and my family comfortable with our decision to come to UNI.


What do you like the most about UNI?

            I love the size of UNI. It’s big enough to meet a lot of people, and at the same time not too overwhelming that one gets lost in the crowd. The people and friends I have met at UNI are very open to diversity and learning about other cultures. UNI has a wide variety of classes to choose from which really helped in increasing knowledge beyond my major. I enjoyed my classes in Scuba Diving, biology and creative problem solving, to name a few.

[I was always involved with the Honors Program at UNI. I took a multitude of courses which were a lot of fun because we did a lot of things that went beyond just reading the text books.] Honors courses were an opportunity to think outside the box for creative ways to make presentations and solve challenging assignments. [Friends and peers that I met in the Honors Program were very helpful in guiding me through the initial culture shock and continue to place me situations that help me learn more about the American society and way of life.]

The UNI Career Center was also very helpful once I got an internship. They guided me through filling out the proper paper work and worked with both the CS department and the international services office to get the correct permissions so that I could successfully complete my internship.

I enjoyed attending the programs at the GBPAC. The student discounts were always amazing and the wide range of shows that play at the GBPAC really helped to expand my cultural knowledge.


Do you participate in any on-campus organizations or activities? If so, what are they?  [use answer in ABOVE question, marked by brackets (two sentences)]

            I started off my freshman year by being involved in the residence hall senate, International Student Association and the Honors Program. I went on to be the International Student Representative in Northern Iowa Student Government. I also held various leadership roles in the Honors Student Advisory Board.


Do you work on campus?

            I always worked in IT jobs across campus. I worked as an IT Technician for the college of Humanities and Fine Arts. I also worked a semester as an ICN technician and worked as a lab assistant in the Business building.


What is your favorite spot on campus?

            Maucker Union was by far my favorite place on campus. It had everything you needed outside the classroom. It was a popular place to have informal and formal meetings and a place where I ran into a lot of people that I knew. The Union had many food options and Thursdaze was always a blast!!


What have you done to help make UNI your home away from home?

            [The best decision I took was to meet and talk to as many people as I could. As my circle of friends grew, UNI immediately started to become my home away from home.] I participated in the International Friendship Program that the International Services Office hosts and that got in touch with a “host family.” I have spent many weekends with my host family and they have introduced me to American traditions like Thanksgiving, Christmas and Halloween to name a few. All of these have definitely helped me make UNI my home away from home.


What is the one thing you would tell a new or prospective international student about attending a college in the United States?

            I think that the concept of the “American Dream” really exists. [The freedom that the university and education system provide helps any student make the most out of their college career. America is a melting pot of cultures and attending college here gives you a glimpse of what a truly globalized world is going to be like.] Lessons that I have learned about cross cultural communication have been an asset at my work place when it comes to talking to the customers that I work with. And finally, I firmly believe that attending college in America prepares you for the real world, both professionally and as a responsible citizen.