Water it, let it get some sunlight,
It will grow up wide and bright
Nourish it, give it space and time
It will flourish and be worth of every dime-
Beautiful leaves will ornate the plant,
As you care in abundance and not scant,
Leaves will slowly dry and wilt,
If you push it away, decide to jilt.
The competition for education and stress level among students in India is much higher than most other countries. Some of the students have their minds set to study in specific Indian Universities , meanwhile others think about flying to foreign countries. Today I will tell you people a few reasons to why you should select USA as your destination for Higher Education.
- Grants and Assistantships– Most Indians prefer to study abroad with the help of Fellowships or Scholarships unless you are super rich and can pay for everything with your pocket ( even then I mentioned below a few reasons to select this country). Most countries and their Universities will provide you with a grant , if you are selected for it. Assistantships are also available ,but they are not a common occurrence among different subjects. What I mean to say is for fields of Engineering, Medical ,Designing, Business, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Math there are multitude of grants everywhere , but if you are a student of suppose Philosophy or History the grants would be seldom. Here in USA though, most of the Universities try to provide Assistantship for eligible students for almost every subject.
2. Expenses of Commodities– What I like the most here is the expense of basic living commodities including food is pretty less here. They prepare the ratings in such a way that even the poorest people will be able to buy those products.
3. Helpful Communities– In USA there are numerous communities and organizations who try to help and extend friendship towards International students. There are food pantries where you can get basic grocery items for free every week for students. It does not involve any fee at all. The University also from time-to-time arranges trips for the students for a minimum fee. If you are someone who likes to travel with strangers and make new friends or if you could make your friends sign up for that you would be able to join it.
4. Flexibility in Education– The education system in USA is pretty flexible unlike India or most European countries. You can select the subjects that you would like to study. For example you might be a Math major , but you could still take a class in French if you think that would be helpful for you. American professors are very understanding, it does not matter which country you come from, once you are a student of the University they will try to help you develop your academics in every way possible.
5. Language Barrier– English might not be the first language for most of the Indians , but we still have a total population of 125 million speakers (according 2001 census). You might be thinking , why did I suddenly point that out. Well most of the countries have something called language requirement for students who apply in their Universities. Speaking of English, since most of you are either familiar with it or really fluent with it; this should not pose as a major threat. Think of having to learn different Latin based languages, forget about the Asian languages if you are not familiar with it. Mind you, these language requirement tests are not really cake walks, they can be intimidating sometimes.
6. Financial Situation in VISA– This reason might not be very important for some people, but for others this might be a breaking point. In most of the countries of the world whenever anybody applies for a VISA they have to provide proof of their financial situation or should have a copy of their assets . Depending on the type of VISA and country (I only know about the Schengen VISA, UK , Canada and US VISA) they have a requirement for you to show an evidence of enough money to stay there for a year including your living and school fees in their currency. Which for all of these cases above is worth much more than Indian currency. You can do it through the grant or assistantship that you would be receiving. If your grant or assistantship does not cover it all , you might have to show an evidence of finance of your own or through any of your family member.
7. Safe Environment– Again this point might not interest most of you, but for people who are health conscious and might want to enjoy studying and living in a country which has better air quality than most other nations, you might want to come and study here in USA. On top of mostly pollution free air, they also have good sewage disposal, better water quality than most places in the world. If you are thirsty and want to get some water, you can drink your fill from sink. American sink is lot more filtered than most of India’s expensive filtered systems.
These were some of the points I figured were interesting, what are some of your experiences ; if you are living as an international student here in USA or some other country. Would definitely like to know, so please write about it in the comment box. A last piece of information, here is the link to a previous post , which is a prequel of this post.
That is all that I have to say for today. Have a wonderful weekend folks and happy blogging :-).
I would like to present a disclaimer before starting with the post.
Disclaimer- I mean no disrespect towards anyone with this post. It is only for Indians (middle-class). It is not for engineers, doctors only for students who belong to Humanities and Social Sciences. Someone whose Grant or Assistantship would be less than $15,000 a year.
Lets begin this journey of getting to the crux of it all. Indians (specially students and service holders) always feel in a way that staying in USA would be better than being in our own country. After this post today, you might all get a second thought.
- Public Transportation- In most websites you will find how US has better road quality than India and there are more motor vehicles on the road than in India. What they do not tell you is out of those motor vehicles almost 70% is private and the rest 30% would be public. In public transportation I would consider transit buses, passenger railways, passenger boats, subways, metro, airways. Only select cities in the USA have good public transportation which means you will be able to travel from one city to another or properly within the city without having to book a cab, most of which are in the North or East Coast, excluding Chicago (Illinois), Miami (Florida), New Orleans (Louisiana).
Your University might have their own transit system, but you must not rely on them if you would like to travel to a neighboring town, which I guarantee you is far, they will not take you there . So one must have a car here, also cars can be expensive (second hand cars good quality starts from $4000 or higher) if you get something cheaper than that you will have to spend more on fixing it, on top of that there are some costs which you might have to pay for every 6 months. Unlike India you cannot ride a scooter in a highway or you could buy a bike (bicycle). Ubers can be pretty expensive too for inter-city rides ( will go up to $40 round trip) .
Finally coming to airways, travelling within USA through flights is very expensive. So if you are planning to be here please try to make friends so that you can travel together and it would not be convenient for you.
2. Health Care- You must have a health insurance to be here in the US. There are health insurances for dental care and eye care and a seperate one for a total body health care. According to websites like healthsystemtracker.org and investopedia.com, USA spends 16.9% of their GDP on their health care. So if you are an international student here you will have to expend more so, than domestic students in health insurance. For six months it might roughly end up to $1000 which sometimes is partly paid by the grant or assistantship that you received. So somehow if your grant or stipend is less than $1000 you might want to think twice before coming here.
3. Taxation- All your grants and stipends will be taxed here. So be cautious if in the payroll paper you see the earnings to be suppose $500 or so it will not exactly be that , student or not you will be taxed.
4. Food- As Indians we grow up with a variety of spicy food. A meal or thali consists of every taste possible i.e. Sweet, Salty, Bitter, Hot and Sour. Once you are here in US you will want to cook your own food because buying meals every single day can be a tad bit expensive , just like in India. Some of the largest grocery stores nationwide are Walmart, Kroger, Target, Ahold Delhaize and even Amazon (it’s pretty big here). Based on the community or city population , suppose if you have a large Asian community there you might get some spices which are Indian otherwise no. By chance if you are a vegetarian, you will have to start making new recipes because lots of tropical vegetables and fruits are not available here in US unless you are in some Grand city.
Living in an Asian community or area can also be useful at times as there might be little grocery stores owned by Asians, where you would be able to get the ethnic food ingredients.
5. Housing- Please do not book university housing here in USA. Unlike India in US University housing is much more expensive than living off campus. It is definitely fun living with a community but you can have fun living off campus too.
(Feel like it should be included with ” 6 things to remember while coming to US, but you still must know this).
6. F1-VISA- If you think that the stipend you will be receiving is not enough to maintain a life here and are planning to do a side job, well take a double look at the F1- VISA rules. When you apply for F1-VISA , you are basically telling the Homeland Security that you have enough money on your own including the scholarship or grant or assistantship amount to live here for whatever number of years you applied for. So you will not be allowed to do any job outside your University.
If you have an assistantship you can work for 20 hours per week or less, during summer holidays it might increase up to 40 hours per week. But even then you would still be allowed to only work for the University.
- The Assistantship if you are receiving one will mostly cover your tuition fees, you would still be expected to pay some other miscellaneous fee including- library fee, sports fee, health insurance fee and a few others in the beginning of every year.
- None of the Assistanthsips or Scholarship will pay for your VISA application which can be up to a total of Rupees 24,000/- and Flight fare a bare minimum of Rupees 50,000/-.
- Most of the Universities will basically expect you to have attempted TOEFL which can be roughly Rupees 13,200/- and some Universities ask for a GRE score as well Rupees 14,699 approximately.
- In US there is something called the city tax which you might have to pay in some cities for your grocery.
These are some of the points that I felt like , needed to be presented. If you guys have any questions or would like to add more to it, please speak about it in the comment section.
Have a good weekend and an awesome week ahead.
Night Sky, Stars and Ceiling
Dreams are getaways for the soul,
Brain doesn't stop working.
This will be the last post from this series. On our fourth day there in New Mexico , we decided to travel to the Tent Rocks or Kasha Katuwe National Monument. It was almost an hour’s drive from where we were staying. So we started our journey towards this beautiful place at around 10 am , after being served breakfast by the lady of the Airbnb place. Telling you guys again she is a wonderful woman.
A brief history and geography of ‘Kasha Katuwe’. The word means ‘white cliffs’ in the Puebloan language ‘Keresan’. It is located on Pajarito Plateau, South-West of Santa Fe, New Mexico near Cochiti Pueblo. It is said that humans have occupied these rocks for more than 7000 years. Distinctly in the 15th century, the ancestors of Pueblo Indian people lived there and they were the ones to name it. Now a days the tribal people of Cochiti Pueblo contribute and help manage this monument. They also have access to this place through tribal lands.
The tent rocks are cliff faces of Peralta Canyon which are pierced by smaller canyons containing the tent rocks and that is why they have been named so.
Now that we are done with a brief history of the place, let me tell you guys about our day there. We took the Cave loop trail, which is a 1.2 miles long and you can get a wonderful view of Hemet Mountains, Sandia Mountains, Rio Grande Valley. I am sharing a few pictures that we clicked there.
The vacation was successful for us and the very next day we returned back to the Natural State- Arkansas.
I have always wanted to watch this movie. After having experienced the other movies of this series , it was kind of an obvious desire. The wish unfortunately came true today.
Unfortunate because I have never felt as insulted as after watching this film. It is a 1984 movie and sad to say very "racist".
I know , I should be using that term after serious thoughts these days. But right from the period when Dr.Jones visits India and he is promoted as a White-savior of the brown Indians, I started anathematizing Director Spielberg. Starting with a little village , poor Indians; oh wait we did miss a cow or two ?
Are Indians even complete without cows? lolz.
Then we have the famous meal consisting of the monarch, a couple of royals, a British officer, Indiana , his side-kick and the singer he picked up from China. Anyways they indulge in non- vegetarian dishes eating fried bugs, eyeball soup and monkey brains. For most Westerners that is a representation of what India is, right?
But that's a misinterpretation of what the country is. You might say that , it is possible that somewhere in India they eat those things. I can assure you, at least Indians do not eat any of the dishes shown in the movie. No doubt it was banned in India. Apparently the movie was about to be shot in Indian locations, but the Government did not approve of this after Spielberg did not make the changes to the film script they were asked to do. So they did their shootings in Sri Lanka.
Thirdly, Goddess Kali , who is actually a harbinger of positivity , shown as a cult Goddess.
There are a lot of things that I do not know- like why did Amrish Puri decide to act in this movie?
I do not know if they have done any research before writing the story or finished the whole story while smoking weed. Are the Gods Shiva, goddess kali just names for them ? Do they even know what Hinduism is ?
Its probably "Don't care, don't know, what can you do about it?"
Not sure if this post will be read by anybody or any Western individual will care about it. A fact will always be a fact. I am sure the directors and movie-makers in the present era are doing a better job at researching. "Extraction" is a whole other story though.
Expectations, practically an element of past
Wise men must know, it will not last
Every generation brings up a new lesson,
Ours though have learned to follow their passion-
Independence is a thing for mass,
Believing only in the present will be our class,
Virtuous or sinful only time will tell,
Hitherto there will be many folklores to retell.
On our third day, we solely spent our time visiting the Bandelier National Monument.
These monuments preserve the homes and territories of the ancestral Puebloans of a later era in the South-West. Most of the pueblo structures date to two eras, dating between 1150 and 1600 AD.
So much for its history:
It was an hour and almost 45 minutes drive from where we were staying at the time. One our way we passed through the White Mountains which truly resembled its name at the time. Covered with snow the mountains looked amazing .
It was a wonderful experience for me as I had never seen such a picturesque view.
Once there, we first went to the Visitor’s Centre .
There we chose the “Main Loop Trail” which took us almost 1 hour 45 minutes to complete. Throughout trail there are ladders you must climb to get into the ancient Puebloan houses.
I have posted here some pictures that we clicked while walking through the trail.
I would rate this tourist spot a 5/5 . Please make sure to visit this monument when you are there in New Mexico.
They stand, they trip
They walk, they slip
Mother; watching them strive
Aid their way in life,
Her tired eyes drooping down-
Will wait for nature and her kids to have bound,
Lovely, however it is they must survive alone
She must rest, leaving them forlorn.
Childhood with unfulfilled wishes,
Meeting everyone’s expectations,
Her mind shaped up desiring better,
A successful future, beautiful life
She did want to spend it with someone,
Did her struggle conflict in a way with his wishes?
Overwhelming him, that she didn’t want,
Before he could figure, she took the step ahead.