Dreams Do Come True For Pakistani Exchange Student
While growing up in Pakistan, Anas and his friends dreamed of attending college in the United States.
Now his friends are living vicariously through him as he attends Kent State as an exchange student sponsored through UGrad Pakistan, a program supported by the U.S. Department of State.
Anas has only been at Kent State for a few weeks, but his life on and off campus has been everything he and his friends back home had hoped for.
“When I was 10, I watched American movies that showed university life in the United States,” Anas said. “We all wanted to study in the U.S. Now I am living my own dream. All my friends in Pakistan want to come to study in the United States.”
Anas applied for the UGrad exchange program in April 2021. He said he is among 19,000 students who applied for the program, but only 240 students were accepted. He is studying photojournalism at Kent State’s School of Media and Journalism.
“The professors are nice,” Anas said. “When you walk around you get smiles from people and people say hello. Everyone is so friendly. And nature is amazing. I had never seen a deer in my whole life.”
When Anas returns to Pakistan, he will complete his last semester before graduation. He hopes to return to the U.S. to attend a graduate program at Kent State, University of Missouri or Rochester Institute of Technology.
But until then, he will see what other new frontiers he can explore for his classes at Kent State and during his leisure time. His friends back home can hardly wait for the pictures.
“I went to downtown Kent and shot 400 pictures,” Anas said. “I really love the architecture here. And I am going to New York to see the Statue of Liberty, and I’ll see what else I can explore while I’m there.”
Anas is one of 24 students from Pakistan currently attending Kent State, which has seen a significant increase in international students this year seeking degrees in the United States.