Seven Friends from Nepal Uncover Academic Advantages at Kent State
This fall semester, Kent State is privileged to welcome seven international students to its campus, all of which are friends from Nepal: Anit Kunwar, Saroj Dahal, Man Bahadur Kshetri, Swastik Shrestha, Bishal Pokhrel, Mahesh Gaire, and Salan Gahaju. Being close friends while living in Nepal, the seven still find it extraordinary that they all decided to choose Kent State as their academic destination this fall. Among the seven, six are freshmen and one is a new graduate student. Despite their close friendship, the young men are pursuing radically different academic paths. Their selected majors include computer science, applied engineering, mechanical engineering, business administration and biotechnology.
From left to right in the above photo: Man Bahadur Kshetri, Bachelor of Science Degree in Biotechnology; Salan Ghaju, Bachelor of Science Degree in Biotechnology; Bishal Pokhrel, Bachelor of Science Degree in Biotechnology; Swastik Shrestha, Bachelor of Science Degree in Physics; Anit Kunwar, MBA, Information Systems; Saroj Dahal, Mechanical Engineering; and Mahesh Gaire, Computer Science.
Anit, who began work on his second master’s degree this fall, recently talked about what first attracted him to Kent State, what it is like being an international student, and what he loves most about Kent State.
While still attending school in Nepal, one of Anit’s friends told him about his college experiences while studying at Kent State University and how much he loved it. So naturally, his friend encouraged Anit to apply. Taking his friend’s advice, Anit began researching Kent State and discovered that the university genuinely matched his academic and personal preferences. He found the area, the courses and the faculty all to his liking.
After graduating from a school in Nepal with his Masters in Business Studies, Anit decided to wait a few years before applying to Kent. During those intervening years, Anit enrolled himself in another master's program so he could complete a four-year program in order to attend Kent. He also found employment with a local company as its finance officer, where his main duties involved managing the company’s numerous accounts. Throughout this period, Anit also found time to work on improving his GMAT score. “I got a really good score on the GMAT and this, along with work experience and excellent GPA in my Masters program, helped me get an assistantship – which includes a full scholarship and an on-campus job -- with my MBA program here at Kent,” Anit explains. “I feel privileged to have received this opportunity to work with the Associate Dean of Graduate and International Programs, College of Business Administration.”
Originally from the outskirts of Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, Anit felt that his move to Kent, Ohio was a drastic adjustment for him, but in a good way. “Life is comfortable here,” Anit continues. “There are basic necessities and facilities unlike in Kathmandu. In America, often times the capital cities represent a profitable place with great opportunities, but this is not a global standard.” Anit explains that in the Kathmandu area, not having water readily available from the tap can be a common, everyday occurrence. In addition, power outages are a common part of life in Kathmandu.
“We would get a schedule ahead of time that said when we would have power and when it would be out, so people would prepare by purchasing supplements and generators. It was pretty common for the power to be cut for 18 hours a day. When the power was out I had to do my school work by candlelight. It was difficult.”
While some of these conditions in Nepal have improved in recent years, Anit still sees an abundance of problems, including students having a lack of academic options for advanced degrees. Especially in rural areas, people are extremely limited as to their choices of schools, and must relocate to the capital to find adequate education. As a result, the capital has seen an increase in population in recent years, but not a similar increase in the amount of available resources and services.
Although the relocation was a major adjustment for him, he has come to love living here in Northeast Ohio. “It’s quiet, not crowded, and it’s beautiful.” This move to Kent has been filled with a number of “firsts” for Anit, including his first time outside of his home country, his first time flying and, surprisingly, his first time seeing snow. Perhaps one of the most rewarding parts of experiencing so many new things is that Anit has the advantage of enjoying them surrounded by his group of friends from Nepal. “Each of us is encountering our own once-in-a-lifetime experiences, but we have the advantage of being able to share them with each other, too,” adds Anit.
“The faculty at Kent State has been very helpful in selecting right courses for me and helping me plan my career,” Anit says in describing the academic environment at Kent State. “They are very good at offering in person and remote guidance.”
“I feel so proud to be here at Kent State. Kent State is so dedicated to helping its students grow both personally and professionally. I appreciate the fact that this university provides a lot of short courses to help students get familiar with basic computer skills, such as Microsoft Excel, Word, Google Drive, Google Docs, Photoshop and some programming languages. I often join those classes to get comfortable using those skills in daily life. Kent State has abundance of sources from which to learn just about anything. I already have such a great experience of learning at Kent State.”
After graduating from Kent State, Anit hopes to work as either a data or business analyst for a financial institution. Through an OPT program, Anit plans to work for a few years in the United States so that he can gain additional experience before returning to Nepal. Since a lack of professionals exists in a growing financial market in Nepal, Anit hopes he will be fortunate enough to secure a job with a decent income so that he can live close to his family once again.