Located in Malibu, California, Pepperdine University is where Pawana Koghar decided to go after graduating from high school. “I was born in Bangkok, Thailand and my family is of Indian ethnicity. I applied to a couple of universities around the United States as well as a couple of universities in the United Kingdom and Australia, but I chose the United States because one, I was more familiar with it and California has the warm weather of course and I had a couple of students from my high school also applying to the same school," she says.
"[And] through them and through my counselors in high school I sort of learned more about Pepperdine. I think one thing that really caught my attention was how it was a private school and how I could get a close connection with my professors and meet them on a weekly basis to discuss class materials if I needed any extra help, more than attending a school where there are seven hundred students in a class,” she says.
“[And] two, career opportunity and education standards just appealed to me a lot more than the other universities around the world especially in my hometown.”
Pawana is a Finance major and after getting involved in campus activities she says she recently decided to pursue a minor in non-profit studies. “Right now I am pursuing a finance major and a non-profit minor. I come from a background of textile and my family is very much revolved around the business and the economy and I have always been around that environment so coming here they offered a lot of business opportunities," she says.
"[And] I took Finance because I like Math and I thought that might be best suiting me and then just recently like a month ago I joined the non-profit minor because I have been helping out here with school activities to raise funds for non-profit and that just interested me so I took on the non-profit minor."
There's many things one can learn and participate in at Pepperdine University. Pawana says what is really important to her is the size of the campus and the security provided to students there. “Well, one [thing] I like about our university is that it is not a large campus compared to [University of California Los Angeles] UCLA or [University of Southern California] USC and one thing I really like about this campus is that security is a major issue here,” she says.
“You don’t just have anyone entering the campus without tending to an officer at the front or anything like that and so I feel safe when I am walking at night on this campus and not worrying about what may happen," she says. "[And] I also like how everything is in close proximity and the view is amazing.”
Pawana says for her its a good thing that the education system back home is similar to the education system and curriculum here in the United States. “Well, a lot of my professors back home were international. They were professors from America or the United Kingdom and a lot of my professors are familiar with the U.S. curriculum and structure,” she says. “So my school although there was an international school our curriculum was based on the American system and it provided IP and AP classes. So it is somewhat very similar to the classes and the curriculum here," she adds."
"I never attended a local school, but I would say that the local schools in Thailand are a lot different from the local schools in America.”
Pawana's advice to other students thinking about studying in the United States is...”Well I know a lot of students would be really nervous as I was to come here, but it takes honestly, it does take the first semester just to get into the hang of things. I know some of them come from an international school, but it is a different environment, a different culture, different values, its totally different way of living especially when you are trying to live on your own away from home," she says.
"[And] I would encourage them to keep an open mind because everybody around you some people are in the same situation if not worse and that you are not alone, but there are opportunities on campus where you can go talk to counselors and other international programs and clubs which you can go meet people who are in the same situation that you are. They will help you as much as you will help them with the situation.”
This is only Pawana's sophomore year at Pepperdine University. When she does complete her last two years left, Pawana's says staying in the United States for a while is what she would like to do. “I do want to stay in America at least for a year to get training and [to do an] internship. So if I was to return back home I would go with career opportunities and already have done a couple of internships in America so I can go home and where I would start at a lower position now be able to start off at a higher position especially since I have come from abroad.