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Nuraj Maskey: Education from Around the World

NurajMaskeyBorn in Kathmandu, Nepal and completing high school in Singapore, Nuraj Maskey has traveled the world in search of a better education.  With many miles behind him, Maskey continued his education at North Lake College in Dallas, Texas and Texas A&M University-Commerce.  He is a student rich in global culture, an enthusiast for outdoor sports, and a lover of technology.

“I have always been determined to learn as much as I can,” Maskey said.  This determination prompted him to complete his Associate of Science Transfer degree from North Lake College of the Dallas Community College System in 2009.

“The community college offered friendly instructors, smaller classes, and a flexible class schedule,” he said.  “I was impressed that my credit hours held the same level of recognition as university classes and could be easily transferred.”

To further his studies, Nuraj transferred to Texas A&M University-Commerce.  In fact, he received the University Transfer Scholarship in recognition of his high grade point average at North Lake College. “The affordable classes and scholarship helped me to save funds for higher education at the university level,” he said.

While at Texas A&M University-Commerce, Maskey continued his pursuit for quality education, extracurricular activities, and a career in technology.  He brought to the campus his culture and love for sports.  Nuraj founded the Nepalese Student Association and led his soccer team to become Intramural Champion of 2011.  Nuraj went on to graduate with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in computer science.

North Lake College provided core classes such as speech, philosophy, and government to help Nuraj prepare for the real world.  TAMU-Commerce furthered his fascination with computers and technology.  Both contributed to Nuraj’s pursuit for an education from around the world.

“I didn’t know anything about computers before I came to A&M-Commerce,” Nuraj said. “Within a year I learned how to program in various computer languages.”

Currently, he is an applications developer specializing in programming and software development for a leading U.S. company. “Technology makes human life easy. It is the complex science behind technology that fascinates me so much that I want to learn more,” he said.

Oluwaseun Samuel: Distance becomes an opportunity instead of a challenge

For Oremosu, the trip was worth the wait.Oluwaseun SamuelFull

Origionally from Nigeria, Oremosu came to the United States to study through a Visa.  He started at the University of Houston but the travel proved to be a challenge.  “The commercial buses won’t reach my apaprtment… I was getting late to class and always tired.”  His advisor talked to him about transferring to a closer option, Houston Community College, which turned out to be a great opportunity.

While there Oremosu was invited to join Phi Theta Kappa, which helped him get scholarships to the University of Texas – Pan American and help make the transfer process easy.  “Phi Theta Kappa encouraged me in making quick decisions and my transition easier.  It boosted my courage and reduced a lot of burden.”

He currently majors in Electrical Engineering and will graduate in December of 2011.

His advice to other international students?  “Try to have a prior understanding of the potential college.”, he says.  His advisors at both community college and the university were essential to the transfer as well as support from Phi Theta Kappa.

His last word of advice, “Be focused and hardworking.  Sometimes along the line unexpected help might come.”

Cynthia Barros: Around the World with Volleyball

CynthiaBarrosFullCynthia Barros always wanted to go to a four year university and decided to come to the United States for it because of an athletic scholarship to play Volleyball while living in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

She decided to go Panola Junior College and get an Associate Degree of Science before transferring on to the University of Texas – Pan American for a Bachelors Degree in Manufacturing Engineering.  “I had better opportunities starting at a Junior College,” she says. “More scholarships available, smaller class sizes, more one-to-one interaction, and a smaller community.  It was easy to make friends and interact with them.”

The difficulty transferring lied within the paperwork.  “It took longer and I had to obtain a new visa.” says Cynthia.  The culture change also proved to be an unusual challenge.  Starting in East Texas and then going to South Texas she had to learn ‘Texas culture’ twice!  “In East Texas I got used to the cowboys.  When I moved to South Texas I learned all about the Hispanic culture.  It took me awhile to get used to it but now I love it!”

Speaking of culture change, “It was harder to interact with other people and make friends” she says.  The international office helped her with those challenges.  “It had some events, trips, and meetings which helped a lot.”  Now she has a campus job and gets involved in engineering organizations and Intramural Sports to help meet people.

Cynthia’s advice to other international students?  Prepare early.  “Take classes which are prerequisites for the major you are planning because you will lose time if you don’t have those when you begin at the University.”  And on a broader level, “being international, you can go to any four year university you want, so it is really important to do your research about the school and the area.”

Durga Pathak – From the Himalayas to the Hill Country

Nepal is a world away from Texas, but for Durga Pathak overcoming the distance and differences was part of the educational experience he wanted. DurgaPathakfull

Durga grew up in Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu, where he helped in his father’s textbook publishing business during school breaks. He was determined to attend a U.S. university. After scoring well on the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), he attended the University of South Alabama for one semester before transferring to Austin Community College.

Then Upon the recommendation of one of his professors at ACC, Durga visited Texas State and talked to current students. He decided it was the right place to complete his bachelor’s degree in computer science.

“The main reason I transferred to Texas State is the quality education” Durga says.

Staying in the Austin-San Antonio area allows Durga to continue his volunteer work with refugees from Bhutan, a small country east of Nepal in the Himalayas, helping them adapt to U.S. culture.

As for his own adjustment to Texas State, Pathak says, “The orientation was really helpful. My advisors and professors in the computer science department are very helpful and friendly.” He has one piece of advice for future transfer students: “Start your transfer process a little early.”

Transferring enriched his education experience more than Durga could have hoped for.  “It will be the best decision you’ve ever made.”