I was a young 17-year-old boy when I left to the USA from Visakhapatnam to pursue my under-graduation in Rutgers University. It is a big university with lot of Asians, perhaps for the reason that it is situated in the “immigrant state” of New Jersey.
As a young Indian in a foreign land I was amazed by the diversity America provided. From Indians to Nigerians and from Australians to French, I made a lot of friends, met a lot of people and learnt about different arts and cultures. It's a mixture of nostalgia and pride to share my experiences in my fourth year of college.
American education is very flexible, interactive and assessment is continuous. There is plenty of room to change majors until the end of the second year of the four-year programme. The most important thing about undergrad students in the US is the way they plan their curriculum themselves.
The Indian classroom system has no place in American classrooms.
Here, your classmates constantly change as they move out choosing different streams of study and diverse subjects within the stream. So the friends one makes are from diverse majors. International orientation which takes place before the university starts was the most rewarding experience where I made everlasting friends.
One should pay a lot of attention in the orientations since it prepares us to what we need to do to graduate successfully and how we should try maintain and utilise our visa status successfully. Rutgers University has five campuses, each have a campus centre, recreation centre including gym and library.
Campus centres are beautiful spaces where students hang out, eat and study in groups. There are three campuses where there are in-door swimming pools.
I am writing about Rutgers New Brunswick, which should not be mistaken for Rutgers Camden/Newark. Rutgers University New Brunswick is the main branch and there are 40,000 full-time students in the university, which has various branches including engineering, food science, business, arts, sciences etc.
There are forest lands in the middle of the university which makes it a scenic beauty and home to plenty of animals which thrive in ponds, rivers and plants. The university is well connected with buses and trains. New York - Times Square is just 45 minutes away from the university train station, which makes our foreign education an experience most worthwhile by obtaining internships and jobs in the fortune 500 companies since it's very near to the financial capital of world.
The University down town has lot of restaurants and bars offering various cuisines such as Thai, Chinese, Indian, Mongolian, Ethiopian, and Mexican etc. Edison city, which is called mini India, is 15 minutes away from Rutgers where we can enjoy Indian food and regional movie theatres. Princeton University is just 30 minutes away by train or car, which takes you into an ancient university with ancient architecture, history, and landscape.
Raghu Raj Yerra
Rutgers University New Brunswick