From an Indian village to study at an international university in Qatar

I come from a small village in Uttar Pradesh surrounded by green crops and mango orchards.

My father is a farmer and my mother is a housewife. Like my family, the main occupation of people in my village is agriculture, and if VidyaGyan school had not selected me in 2012, I would not be sharing my study abroad experience here.

VidyaGyan is a philanthropic institution in India that provides education to underprivileged children. It was a turning point in my life when I was one of 200 students selected from thousands of applicants to study at the school.

The school helped me realize my true potential, fueled my curiosity, honed my communication skills, and helped me learn the importance of critically analyzing the world. This is also the reason why I decided to pursue a career in international economics.

With the guidance and support of my professors at VidyaGyan, I gained admission into Georgetown University with a 100% scholarship. However, because I was going to study on the Qatar University campus, I was concerned about the cost of living, how it would affect a scholarship student, and how inclusive it would be for an international student.

Study at the secondary campus of an American university in Qatar
University life in: UAE
The best universities in the Arab world

But all those worries were put to rest when I made contact with my new professors and the university alumni.

Qatar has a dress code for men and women in public that prohibits men from wearing shorts above the knee and requires women to dress modestly. This is something that makes Qatar culturally distinct.

Like all students who come from other parts of the world, I embraced these differences with an open mind. It’s been two years and I’ve come to love this beautiful country and call it my second home.

Over the past two years, I have had the opportunity to regularly participate in active discussions and personal interactions on many global economic challenges. I have always been intrigued by questions related to the disparity in wages for the same work between two countries, how inflation works and how world markets determine the prices of common goods, and the study of international economics has helped answer all my questions.

Studying abroad offers much more than just academic learning. My experience allowed me to refine and diversify my skills and to learn about different cultures and points of view.

I am happy to continue my studies, but that does not mean that I will never forget my village and my responsibilities to give back to my society with the education I received. I want to become an economics teacher and use creative teaching approaches to help young minds develop their ideas.

My advice to all students in India and other countries is that education and studying abroad will help them change their lives and their future.

Christina A. Kroll