News

    Academics and Social Involvment Completes Hasnain Zaidi's Pursuit for Balance at Duke University

    Related Articles

    Not having a lot of choices at home for attending college, Hasnain Zaidi knew coming to the United States to study would afford him an opportunity both academically as well as so socially.  “Well I’m actually pretty international as far as backgrounds go.  My family is originally Pakistani, but I was born and raised in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates over in the Middle East,” he says.

    “I spent middle school in Toronto Canada, but for the most part lived the bulk of my seventeen years before college in Abu Dhabi.  I choose to attend college in the U-S, primarily because there weren’t a whole lot of options close to home.  I was looking to study either in the United Kingdom, Canada or the United States just because the quality of higher education there is really top notch and its very hard to match the quality of the liberal arts education both academically, extra curricular wise and socially that you can get in the U-S and that is sort of why I started focusing on colleges in the states.”

    So, after a bit of Internet research and personal gut instinct, Hasnain is attending Duke University.  He says, it is only by luck that he ended up there.  “I’m currently at Duke University.  I’m a senior over here and I got lucky is all I can say far as why I chose to come to Duke.  Most international students do not have extensive experience with American colleges and so what I did was I went online and pulled the U-S news top ten rankings, top twenty rankings and requested view books from the schools that seemed interesting and the ones that I had heard of and looked into which ones seemed interesting and when I say looked into I mean I visited the website and looked at pictures.  I read brochures and articles online and that was really the extinct to which I knew about Duke,” he says.

    “I never knew anybody that had visited here, hadn’t even actually heard about the basketball team before I got here and so it really was a shot in the dark,” he says.

    “I found that I really liked the way the campus projected itself.  I liked the image that they showed of themselves.  Sort of the image that I got of Duke was a place where you could work hard, but also be part of a community and that was important to me was to be in a place where I would be welcomed and a place where I could make a contribution.  So I got that sense from Duke and of course this could have been completely incorrect, but luckily it was spot on exactly what I found on during my time here, but really in the end it was by chance that I wind up at Duke.”

    Hasnain is studying Public Policy. He says that wasn't his initial choice, but after giving it some thought, he is able to take some of his other interests and unify them into this one area.  “I chose to major in Public Policy studies and it has been a bit of a journey getting here,” he says. 

    “I started off my career as a pre-med student.  I was pre-med for two and a half to three years of my four here and so it was an interesting transition.  I had always looked at doing something non-traditional sciences, I never intended to be a Biology or a Physics major per se, but I wanted to do something that would meld all of my interests and so Public Policy is one of the stronger programs here at Duke it has a huge focus on engagement and really making a difference within my community and that is a message that resonated with me a lot,” he says. 

    “It is also one of the more international programs with a very global focus and so that is important to me to be able to take those interests and unify them together.”

    For Hasnain being able to study in the United States has been vital to him.  He tells us why.  “I think it has been vital.  I think just from the perspective of receiving a college education has been huge, but the particular brand of college education that you get here its so fundamental to the development of young adults and I am a firm believer in that I could have studied in the United Kingdom, but in the UK what they have is you need to decide your program upon entry, so I would currently be enrolled in a pre-medical program. I would be on my way to being a doctor which would not have been the right choice for me because after having getting to Duke I decided that is not what I want to do with my life,” he says. 

    “So to have the flexibility, you know to come into college undecided and say ‘look I’m just going to see where the world takes me has been huge, but then also just from a personal growth stand point.  The kind of things I have leaned both inside the class, but especially outside of class and being able to interact with such a diverse set of intelligence and articulate peers it just help me grow to another level that I don’t think would have been possible.”

    After graduation this month, Hasnain already has future plans.  “Currently the plan is to stay in the United States for a little bit. I have a job working for a major consulting company and I would like to gain some experience.  I guess in my perspective a lot of what is going on in this world, is really driven by what is going to the United.  It’s the center of innovation, the center of excellence and so to be able to be in that atmosphere and the work atmosphere here is really exciting,” he says.  “So I am going to do that for a few years and then potentially live somewhere abroad.”

     

     

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora