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Independence, Education and A Whole Lot More Suits International Student Supriya Sood

Supriya Sood is studying at the University of Wyoming. She is pursing a bachelor's degree in Economics and Finance. Being close to family members including having an opportunity to attend college with her mother is one of the many things she loves about her university.

“Well my brother goes to school in Denver and that is about two or three hours from here so that was a huge factor in me deciding to come here and in 2004 in December my mom she was here because she had a Fulbright scholarship and she taught here for a semester so she picked this university because of its proximity to Denver and I picked the same because I would get to spend six more months with her,” she says.

“So she and I came together in 2004 and then she left in December 2004 to go back to India and I stayed on to pursue my bachelor’s. It is a great place I really really enjoy going to school here. I think it is a really good school and the people are nice. It’s a really nice small town. I am from a town [where] my city has about 13-million people in India so Wyoming is a pleasant surprise. There are very few people and there are big, wide, empty open space and I really enjoy that.”

With her Economics and Math courses, Supriya also enjoys her English Literature class. She says going to High School in India is good, but one should consider studying in the United States if they want to pursue a higher-level education. "I think high school in India is really good. They make us work really hard and we have pretty much all sorts of subjects and there is no slipping up you know they make sure you work really hard,” she says.

“When it comes to higher level like your undergraduate degree and like your bachelors and your graduate degree I don’t think that the colleges in India can measure up to the ones in the U-S just because teachers here are a lot more committed to students than they are back home in India,” she says. “I think at a higher level there method of evaluation is always just tests and papers whereas here you get points for class discussion, for being aware and knowing stuff. It takes more than just being book smart, which I think, is important because after a college degree you should be well a well rounded individual and not just someone who can learn up some things from a book and be a good test taker.”

Learning about economics at Wyoming University is one thing, but Supriya says she personally has notice the cultural economic differences since being here. “I think the one thing I really noticed was that services are a lot more expensive in the U-S than they are in India just because that I think is demand and supply just because we have so much available labor in India that they get paid very little labor and unskilled services get paid very little,” she says.

“Whereas here it is the exact opposite because there is such a high demand, but not enough of a supply, services are just more expensive here. Other than that I think food is surprisingly cheaper in the U-S and it is definitely more expensive in India. Those are probably the only two things that I have really, really notice.”

Going to the movies and participating in the Indian Student Association are just a few of the activities Supriya engages in. She says being able to do other things as well as gaining independence to take care of herself is rewarding. “I did have some experience of going to college in India and it is just a lot more full of life here. There is more stuff to do, they give you space and time and they encourage you to focus on other things instead of just studies,” she says. “Whereas in India I think it all just academics that is the focus, but here I pretty much have to cook, clean, do laundry, school and I work which I have never done before along with school and it is not the norm in India at all,” she adds.

“Where I come from in India we have maids do everything so my only job in India was to go to school and come back and pretty much put my feet up and watch TV. I work a lot harder in this country than I ever had to at home, but I think it is a lot more rewarding to so the fact that I get to do a lot of extra curricular stuff and no one makes me feel guilty about not focusing on academics is definitely a plus point.”

Supriya says she is in the process of looking for an internship for the summer. As for what she wants to do once she graduates in May 2007... “I’m not quite sure if I want to go back once I am done at the University of Wyoming. I may want to stay here for a couple of years, get some work experience and then go back. I think because the financial services sector and the Indian economy is completely exploding. They are doing so well the Indian economy is completely on a roll,” she says. “So I think I would like to go back there ultimately and get a job with a good investment bank there.”