Twenty-seven year old Albert Kalim introduces himself. “I’m from Indonesia. I am currently attending University of Kentucky and I am currently studying for my Masters in Computer Science and the reason I came to the United States is to get a better education especially in a higher education system.”
In the middle of his first year at University of Kentucky, Albert was offered a full time job, which gives him experience in the field he is studying. “I’m working full time as a Web programmer for the university and I am attending school part-time and it is really working great. I mean the hardest thing for me is to balance between work and study at the same time, but the benefits out weigh the challenge because I go to school for free and I am allowed to implement what I am studying in class at work and be able to keep up with the latest web programming.”
Albert says he enjoys the freedom of resources available here for students to learn which was not the case while going to school in Indonesia. “Well in contrary to education in Indonesia, I like the education here a lot better because of the freedom of asking questions and the advance in resources and technology that they have,” he says.
“Especially in Computer Science. People have been using Internet since about late 1980s while I barely knew about Computer back at home in 1980’s or 1990’s. Our Engineering program especially Computer Science is among the top 50 or 60 in the nation. And they have they equip a lot of their computer labs with diagnostic technology that allows us to learn the most up to date software or knowledge in computer industry.”
There is more to the University of Kentucky than just Albert's graduate classes that has him attending the school, he also likes.... “Well, I am a big basketball fan so definitely Kentucky is the right choice for basketball and I didn’t know they blew in a sense that they enjoy basketball a lot,” he says.
“The size is also what I like here. I mean I didn’t choose a bigger city such as Los Angeles or New York or Chicago or California where most of my friends went to after finishing high school. I like the combination of the size and the structures and what is available socially for students so that we will be able to enjoy our time but be able to study at the same time."
Albert says he hopes to graduate within a year. After that Albert says....”I’m totally planning to further my studies. I am actually planning to get my PhD hopefully at the university of Kentucky if not at some other university in the country and be able to work at the same time in the IT industry, but I am also interested in studying abroad so I am still looking at my options and see whether I can fit in.”
His advice to other students considering coming to the United States to go to college or a university is...”Definitely focus on the studying first, that is the main reason they come here and some of them pay a lot of money and expenses tuition cost just to be able to get at education level, but at the same time too you want to have a life. You don’t want to study too much and forget about taking care of yourself or be able to have social time with your friends so, if you can balance between those two and be able to get the positive out of it I am sure you will be able to enjoy your time here.”