Tharindu Wijayasena realized that for him that the university he chose to attend needed to be in a state where the weather is for the most part warm. “At this time I am attending Stetson University in Florida. One reason was the weather because Sri Lanka is a tropical country and generally I don’t like cold weather so I thought I would come to a place where the weather is quite similar to where I am from,” he says.
“So I was looking at universities in Florida and researched a lot so Stetson came up as a pretty good [university] especially the Business school has a good reputation so I thought maybe I will try Stetson.”
The 24 year old is from Sri Lanka. Tharindu says between the small class sizes and being able to receive individual attention from his professors, he is pleased with the university. “I’m majoring in International Business with a minor in Marketing. I really like the program especially the things I admire the most is the small class sizes because every class is averaging about twenty-five to thirty students maximum so you get a lot of attention from your instructor and it is a very effective learning environment,” he says.
“I personally believe it is a more effective environment than going into larger classes like hundred to hundreds of students. So far it has been pretty good.”
One thing that was a challenge was not so much the studies, but transitioning from his country to Stetson for school. “Well, the transition was actually a little bit tougher than I expected because, well I am from an Asian culture and even thought I expected differences I really haven’t been far from home before this,” he says.
“So it was a little bit difficult at first because when you come to a place where you really haven’t been before and you don’t know much about and it was a bit hard to get adjusted to, but after you get accustomed to the environment you live in, the place, the college and your friends it becomes smoother obviously.”
Another thing was adjusting to the food. “Well, generally American people are known to be friendly and direct and I was expecting that and my expectations were met, but the hardest part for me in the cultural sense is the food because coming from Asia especially Southeast Asia we use a lot of spices in our food so it is a bit different here, but it is not bad once you get use to it.”
When it comes to the importance of education, Tharindu says....”I view education as very, very important probably the primary goal especially during your younger years, late nineteen, eighteen or twenties you have to do your education well and I believe that even though you can continue your education later or any point in your life for that matter, but the first chance you get you have to get the maximum out of it and do the best thing for yourself so that is my point of view,” he says. “Education is so of like the key, the foundation to your life. So education is very important in my view.”
Tharindu even says that students no matter what there cultural background may be are more alike than they realize. “Our generation I think pretty much in the university field is pretty much the same even though our cultures and where we come from may be different, but our lifestyles tends to be much more similar than we really think,” he says. “We tend to like the same kind of things, do the same kind of things so our lifestyles and view of life seems to be very similar or similar than we actually think.”
This is the last year for Tharindu. He is planning to graduate in the fall. Following that he says he will go back home to help his dad with his business. “Upon graduation I will most probably return back home because I have certain prior commitments that I have primarily especially to my father because we own a family establishment and I am his successor so he is technically waiting there until I finish my studies and come back,” he says. “So after I finish my studies I will probably go back.”