Sophie Gotsadze has chosen Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts, as the place to major in Mathematics and Economics. She began her studies in the United States as an exchange student. “I come from Georgia the country, which is in Eastern Europe, and I decided to come to the United States to study because I like the education system here and I won a scholarship as an exchange student,” she says.
“I went to high school here for two years and I heard about colleges in the United States and it is a better education than we have in Georgia and I really want to help my country. That is my goal in the future, and I want to get the experience here and then go back to Georgia and share my knowledge with other people and work with a non profit or with a company so I can help my country the best I can.”
Sophie says it wasn't difficult for her to realize that attending the all women's college was the place for her. “It’s a women’s college and it is the oldest women’s college in the nation that is still standing today. It was established in 1837 by Mary Lyon and I was fascinated by its history and they support women very much,” she says.
“There’s a lot of opportunity. The education system is very good. The professors are wonderful. The campus is beautiful and some of my high school friends go here. I thought it was a place for me just because they also have a high rate of international students and I feel comfortable here,” she adds.
“When I was here for an interview I knew it was for me and I won a full scholarship luckily and now I am in my first year here.
When it comes to the economy back home, Sophie says there is much room for improvement and by her studying mathematics and economics here in America, she will in some way be able to contribute to her country when she returns back home. “Unfortunately the economy is not that of a high standard in Georgia right now and it needs a lot of improvement. It needs a lot of work to get it to higher standards and I think that getting experience here in the Economics field will help me to decide how to contribute to a better economy in Georgia.”
Another reason Sophie says she is majoring in Mathematics and Economics is to be an example to Georgian woman back home as well. “Also, a lot of women in Georgia don’t major in Mathematics just because they are very shy and they think it is more of a guy thing and I also want to be an example for them.
I like Mathematics as a subject and I want to show Georgian women that they are very smart and motivated and that it is also do-able, Mathematics and Economics and I think it will also help me with my career goals.
After going to school in other countries as a youngster, Sophie says it is in the United States where she really cherishes her education. “I think the United States has the best education system. In Indonesia they had a wonderful international school, but that was private and it was based on an American system as well as in Germany also, “she says.
“They care a lot about the students here and they have a lot of opportunities especially for international students. Professors are very educated and highly qualified and it is very interesting and they give you a completely different experience of college instead of going to some other part of the world.”
Sophie says whenever she talks to other students back home, she shares her experiences of studying in the United States. “I first it was very hard to move around so much and it took a while to adjust, but this made me very independent, very social. I love meeting new people. It taught me a lot of life experiences and I share with them all my skills that I have acquired so far and my experiences and how I have overcome the hardships that I have met and how they can also do it,” she says. “I encourage them to study and that education is important and if they are dreaming about something it is do-able. My dream was to study at an American college and it came true.”