Thursday, October 28, 2010

My life at Oklahoma State University

Krishnan L., MS. Chemical Engineering, Oklahoma State Univ., USA

Q: You have been one of those highly respected lot of students who have been doing higher studies at Oklahoma State University? How does it feel to be at Oklahoma State University USA?
A - It feels very good to be at Oklahoma State University. It is a premier institute in USA and funded by the Oklahoma Government and is widely respected in USA for chemical and mechanical engineering.

Q: Please tell us about which courses are you doing and why did you choose that course?
A - Masters in Chemical Engineering (MS). Nov I have research assistantship and working in Polymers Science research. I chose this course since it is my ambition to be a Chemical Engineer and US is a heaven for chemical engineering.

Q: Why did you choose the USA for higher education?
A - USA is the heaven for chemical engineering. Also it is a land of opportunities and presents opportunities in chemical engineering.

Q: How is Oklahoma State University different than any other USA University based on whatever you have heard from your friends about?
A: I found Oklahoma State University (OSU) to be better than many universities in USA like Lamar, Univ of Louisiana Lafayette etc. This was the best admit that I received out of the nine universities I had applied for.

Q: Are you happy with your decision?
A: Extremely happy with the decision and also happy for choosing Credila.

Q: Where do you eat? Do you cook yourself?
A: I cook food and have become a good cook. I believe people in Mumbai are generally good at cooking since they get to eat good food at home and outside. Also there are some Indian restaurants where I and my friends go once in a while but it is expensive to have Indian food. Sometimes we go to Indian Hindu temples which offer Indian food at very cheap rates and sometimes for free and it is very tasty.

Q: Where do you live? On-campus or off-campus and why?
A: I stay off-campus with three other friends and it is at a 5 min walk from the college campus. I chose of campus because it is cheaper than on campus housing. But is also advisable to take housing near the campus and not as far as 2 km from the campus as it is dangerous. There is more police patrolling near the campus vicinity and not far from the campus since it is done by campus police.

Q: Please share some of your experiences of the USA for aspiring students
A: For all aspiring students I would advise that it is important to pursue the dream incessantly. It is more important to have the dream and not do it half heartedly.

Q: What’s your advice to students who aspire to go to the USA for higher studies?
A: The life in USA is nothing different from that in India and one should not forget that life as a student is challenging since the education system here is different and it is important to not losing focus in the comforts and luxury of USA.

Q: Other than academics, what else did you learn from the country USA?
A: I learnt that USA also has culture just like India and give more importance to family just like Indians. Also they have a beautiful landscape but the climate is a little harsh.

Q: How are the studies in the USA different than the studies in India?
A: Very different. It is more rigorous than India in a way since they take Homework and exams more seriously than we do. Also the marking scheme is GPA (Grade Point Average) which means that even if you have a good score but your ranking in the class is bad then the GPA goes low. This affects the career in turn.

Q: Is it worth spending so much money to get a degree from the USA as compared to similar degree in India with lower costs?
A: It is always worth spending money to get a degree from USA since it is highly recognized all over the world. One of the main ambitions of pursuing education is to seek a multiplication factor in the salary one would obtain.

Q: What’s your advice to parents of aspiring students?
A: It is more important to understand the dream of the child and the most important is with systematic planning anyone can pursue US Education. It is not only for the rich and affluent but also for the Middle Class people.

Q: Key things to remember for parents and students while planning for the studies in the USA
A: Financial planning is most important. Visa interview preparation and documents needed for the same are also very important.
Also the key is to talk to a lot of students here in USA. I think students here in USA feel honoured when they receive call from their friends or talk to people online and do the best help (at least I and my friends do).

Q: What are you future plans?
A: My immediate plan after completion of my degree is to work in a chemical engg firm in USA for a few years. I plan to return to India after I have achieved my goals here in academics, work wise and also monetarily.

Q: How did you fund your higher education?
A: I took the entire loan amount from Credila. I was sanctioned an amt of 20 lakhs I have chosen to take partial amount with me to fund for the first and second semester and initial living. Initially while I came I was a non funded student without any scholarship. But now I have Research Assistantship and it pays me enough money so I am able to fund myself comfortably.

As far as the EMI of the loan my father is paying it also my mother contributes to the income since she is also self employed.

Q: Why did you choose Credila?
A: I met Credila in an Education expo at Goregaon years ago when I was doing my graduation. I always had this dream of pursuing US education. I started working so that I can save some money to be comfortable financially and try to add something in the contribution towards my education expenses apart from my parents.
Later when I decided that it was time to pursue US education by giving GRE i tried various PSU banks but was unhappy with their services. The bank executives were rude and were not considerate enough to understand. I then tried Credila since I had their business card which I got from them 2 yrs ago in a education expo as mentioned earlier.

I am extremely happy that I chose this decision to pursue that call and talk to Credila. They responded immediately and their Sales team explained me everything in complete detail and gave me a vision that it is possible for me to pursue my dream. I give my sincerest thanks to the Credila team. Credila team was very good at explaining and solving all my doubts and my parents questions. The best thing was the Credila executives were willing to spend time and gave importance to the student's dream more than anything else.

Q: Any other advice to students and parents?
A: Other advice is for the students to teach their parents some small but important aspects of technology. This would be like helping the parents know how to chat and use VOIP - voice over internet phone. This saves a lot of money for the parent and the child and it does not make one feel lonely. It is advisable to buy a laptop after coming here since electronic items are cheap here but it is equally important to have one at home in which the parents are also comfortable chatting.
I talk to my parent’s everyday using gtalk, skype and this was planned since I had bought a set of microphones and trained my parents to use it while I was in Mumbai. Now it is really beneficial since it is really cheap and we save a lot on mobile phone bills.

Other advice is on the packing of clothes and food items. If one can get food items which is allowed in the packing contrary to the MIS perceptions it helps a lot since students miss Indian food (particularly home made food items a lot).

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