“Howdy!” Don’t be surprised to hear this from people around you. It’s just a pleasant Texan greeting. Texas is a huge state in the southern portion of the U.S. Its population is a good mix of Americans, lots of Mexicans and people from other countries. Due to its proximity to New Mexico and Mexico itself, there is a strong Mexican influence. Dallas is a bit city in Texas, and has a pretty huge Indian community. You can visit the concert cities of Austin and Houston nearby, chill in restaurants like Mexican Grill, hog on the famous Tex-Mex cuisine and binge on Tortillas!
Half way through my undergraduate in biotechnology from Vellore Institute of Technology in Tamil Nadu, I started planning towards pursuing higher education in the U.S. I realised that life sciences was not all I wanted, I had a thirst for engineering skills, too, more of an “interdisciplinary approach” that everyone talks about. Well, I started exploring my options: curriculums, various universities and departments. I planned and attended classes for GRE and continuously practised online for my TOEFL exam.
I landed in August for my M.S. in Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Texas at Dallas. Even before the semester started, I was chosen for the Graduate Tuition Scholarship and also appointed as a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the Department of Bioengineering. This was decided based on my resume, research, paper publications and a face-to-face interview. The position of a Teaching Assistant (TA) is an enriching experience: we become more responsible.
The best part about majoring in research-oriented fields like biomedical engineering, biotechnology, and medical biotechnology in international universities is that cutting-edge research can be practised everyday due to the availability of the best technology and funds.
There are a variety of courses offered here, taught by highly-educated professionals. The sole problem is that you will hardly have time to talk to family in India. Why? Because this place has a plethora of opportunities! You try to squeeze in so many programmes in your schedule that your calendar is always packed!
The best social life is on offer. Most of the cities have an “Uptown” and a “Downtown” concept. “Downtown” is usually the business and office areas with lots of nice eateries, and “Uptown” is also a business place but with more focus on the commercial side of things.
Studying abroad gives us the much-needed multi-cultural experience and exposure. It helps us learn more, thus shaping us better.
The writer is pursuing her master of science in biomedical engineering at the University of Texas, Dallas.