Auburn University is where nineteen-year-old Prital Patel has chosen to attend college and study Pharmacy. “I’m from Lusaka Zambia and I came to the United States to study as there are no reliable universities where I am from,” she says. [And] I am interested in Pharmacy and I think it is very important as most universities that do teach Pharmacy at home are not that reliable,” she says.
“They are usually government-run and they do go on strike very often. My education would have been put off by a couple of years rather than me graduating in six years it probably would have taken me a little longer from eight to maybe nine years so I decided to come to Auburn to go to Pharmacy school.”
Prital is in her second year and so far she says it has been all good. “Auburn is very different from universities back home so it has been an experience since I have been here. The first semester was difficult because I guess it’s very different from like English is not my first language, it was very difficult to adjust to the different cultures and stuff, but after a couple of months I think I got use to it,” she says.
“There is a lot of school spirit and a lot of students, it is a pretty big university and I enjoy what I have been doing so far and it is a very diverse school with a lot of things to do and a lot of different people and different cultures are mixed together.”
Even making friends and getting involved on campus, Prital is making the most of attending Auburn University. “The bigger classes is kind of difficult to actually get to know your professors, but I really haven’t had difficulty getting to know my peers and my faculty,” she says.
“I haven’t had a bad experience yet and have gotten through to every one of my professors when need be and living in the dorms was an experience too I made very good friends,” she says. “[And] I am active with our international student body and on the committee of nineteen and it is called ‘War and Hunger’. Its [many] universities fighting hunger. It’s a committee of nineteen universities fighting hunger and I love being here.”
One thing Prital says she will always remember is the unity of the students and faculty during a campus game.... “I think probably me attending a football game that I went to, my first football game experiencing the school spirit was amazing to me and I have never been to a place where so many people believing in one thing and having so much school spirit.”
So how did Prital come to want to study Pharmacy? She says....”I’ve always liked Science and I love the Chemistry part of it,” she says. [And] then I started taking classes such as organic classes in Bio-Chemistry and fell in love with it and I have been shadowing a few Pharmacists the last couple of years and I decided that it is what I want to do for a job and I love it so that is how I decided to do Pharmacy.”
A few more years is what Prital has before she finishes and graduates, however when she does, going back home is what she is planning to do so she can work there. “I want to get into research and help with drugs and do AIDS therapy its what I have been trying to do,” she says. “Go back home and help research and treat patients that have AIDS.”
Prital's advice to other international students about studying in the United States is…”I think that it is a great experience. It has made me realize a lot of things in my life. I love being here and my options have broaden by coming here,” she says.
“I have gotten more perspective in different fields of study and it has broaden my perspective in life in general. I think it’s an experience that one should experience if they can.”