An Interview with Yeshoda Karuturi: Washington University in St Louis.

Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL) is a university of seven undergraduate and graduate colleges in St. Louis, Missouri. With a 13. 7% acceptance rate for the class of 2013, WUSTL is regarded as one of the most competitive universities in the nation and has produced over 2o Nobel Laureates. The university is also home to 11 Greek Chapters and is 12 Accapella groups.

Yeshoda, Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experiences with the CTP students.  Where were you born and raised?
Hi! I am very excited to be sharing my experiences studying in Hong Kong with CTP students 🙂 I was born and raised in India for 16 years, but I lived in Addis Ababa for two years, and now I’m studying in the U.S.

When did you live in Addis? 
I lived in Addis from 2008-2010, during my freshman and sophomore years of high school. I moved there because of my parents’ work and absolutely loved Addis! What I enjoyed the most was meeting people with such diverse and interesting experiences. This was my first time living in another country and I loved learning about the Ethiopian culture. And Addis is such a diverse city that I don’t think I’ve met as many people from so many different backgrounds and cultures anywhere else.

Where do you attend college?
I attend college at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, USA.
The reason I chose to study in the US as an international student is not just the strength of the program here, but also the diversity that is available. This is diversity in the form of culture, thoughts and backgrounds. This is what I love the most about studying away from home, because everyday I get to meet people that are similar to me in a few ways, but also very different so I’m always learning new things. This was amplified when I went to Hong Kong. My university had 500 students in our grade that came for the study abroad programs and then about a 1000 students who were local and it was very interesting to compare and contrast all our different experiences from across the world.  I became close friends with people from Italy, France, Korea, Japan and so many other amazing places!

What does it mean to “study abroad”?
A lot of universities have programs where you can opt to study in a different country for a certain amount of time. This usually varies from a summer program to a semester program to even a year abroad. Students get to pick which country they want to study in based on their preferences and area of study. Universities tend to have partnerships with specific universities overseas, which is where students can study.
 A lot of people love taking advantage of this opportunity since you get to explore a new country while still being able to study and fulfilling your requirements. There are also programs that you can do in another languages. For instance, my friend is a Spanish major so she went to Madrid for a semester and took all her classes in Spanish! Another friend is studying Marine Biology so she went South Africa and was able to do field research as part of her program!

Where did you travel to study abroad? Do you have to know the language to live abroad?
I studied abroad in Hong Kong. I wanted to go to a place where English was prevalent so I didn’t have to learn Cantonese to go to Hong Kong. But while being there, I was able to learn a few words so I could converse better with local people. I had an amazing experience in Hong Kong! This was my first time in China and I was able to meet so many cool people and visit such great places. Hong Kong is also very well situated in Asia so I was able to travel to nearby countries such as, the Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan and Singapore. My favorite part of studying in Hong Kong was the food! Needless to say, I ate a lot of dimsum! I also tried to eat some exotic, local foods that are not easily available in other places, such as chicken feet! I didn’t like it too much, but I’m glad I got to try it!

What did you learn from studying abroad?
Studying abroad definitely taught me to be more open to new experiences and to not be afraid of unknown things. While abroad and travelling, there were many times where I had to converse with people that didn’t speak English, or was in a completely new place with no idea where to go. But I learned to relax and enjoy every experience and this is what made my time abroad so special. I tried new things that I never saw myself doing in the past, and even though I was only in Hong Kong for six months, I felt like I had grown a lot as a person.

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