Saturday, March 29, 2014

[STUDENT AMBASSADOR] Megha Mirchandani - Why Studying in the U.S. is a Great Option

In India, students memorize concepts and exam questions expect a standard answer. In the U.K. one was required to conduct an intense amount of independent research that helps you to understand concepts and their context. However, the U.S. offers students a collaborative environment to learn and study. The courses have an interactive methodology in teaching you tough concepts. Personally, the U.S. has allowed me to leverage and build other skills in an interactive learning environment.

U.S. degrees allow you to make diverse choices and build a specialized niche in a specific field. In India our degrees are put into watertight compartments - arts, commerce or science. For example, in the U.S. one can pursue a degree in engineering and also explore creativity by specializing in graphic design. This program would then prepare you for careers in both mechanical and architectural design.

On the personal front, in India, I have experienced a general perception that ONLY doctors pursue a degree in public health. However, in the U.S., I have the opportunity to pursue a degree in public health with a marketing and communication focus. One can explore several such degrees in the U.S. that would help you pursue your passion and interest in building a stimulating career.

For applying, I looked at universities based on geography because I wanted to experience living in the heart of the city. The biggest advantage of studying at George Washington University (GWU) in Washington, D.C. is access. I can walk to all the national monuments, DuPont circle, and etc. I would advise students to not ONLY go by rankings or other people’s experiences. Instead, look at the title of the course and research course modules to see if you are interested in building your knowledge base in that domain. 
Megha abroad in the U.S.

Also, reach out to the admissions officer and ask questions. Read the bios of professors teaching the course and read what area of research they are pursuing. This will give you a perspective on what to expect from the course. Try to make your choice with a 360 degree view, as you are investing your finances and time. You do want to make the best of your time spent here!

Universities are a great place to build bonds and a professional network for life. One must capitalize on stepping out of their comfort zones and interacting with their colleagues. My friends are from all over the country, and my interaction with them helps me learn more about the American culture. Register for clubs such as the Entrepreneurship club, or even clubs that engage in volunteer work. These clubs are an amazing source that will help you in enhancing your learning and providing you with a holistic learning environment.

Finally, what I’d wish I’d known before coming to the U.S. is to apply in advance in order to take advantage of the amazing study abroad degree programs offered at the university. This would have given me the opportunity to travel and learn other cultures. However, what I’m glad I knew before coming to the U.S. is that courses break down into multiple tests and papers throughout the semester. It may seem daunting, but study hard and maintain a high GPA.


Hello everyone, my name is Megha Mirchandani and am a current international student from India. I am currently pursuing a Master's in Public Health degree with a focus in Marketing and Communication at George Washington University (GWU) in Washington, D.C.

*This article was originally published on May 21, 2013. 

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