I come from a small village in Uttar Pradesh surrounded by lush green crops and mango orchards.
My father works as a farmer and my mother is a homemaker. Like my family, the major occupation of people in my village is farming, and had VidyaGyan School 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 realise my true potential, nurtured my curiosity, honed my communication skills and helped me learn the importance of critically analysing the world. This is also the reason why I decided to pursue a career in international economics.
With guidance and support from my teachers at VidyaGyan, I secured admission at Georgetown University with 100-per-cent scholarship. However, because I would be studying at the Qatar campus of the university, I was concerned about the cost of living, how that would affect a scholarship student and how inclusive it would be for an international student.
But all these worries were cleared up when I connected with my new teachers and seniors at the university.
Qatar has a dress code for men and women in public that doesn’t allow men to wear shorts above the knee and requires women to be modestly dressed. This is something that makes Qatar culturally distinct.
I, like all students who move here from other parts of the world, have embraced these differences with an open mindset. It’s been two years and I have grown to love this beautiful country and call it my second home.
In the past two years, I have had the opportunity to regularly engage in active discussions and personal interactions about many global economic challenges. I was always intrigued by questions related to wage disparity for the same work between two countries, how inflation works and how global markets drive prices for common goods, and studying international economics has helped answer all my queries.
Studying abroad offers so much more than just academic learning. My experience has helped me to hone and diversify my skills and learn about different cultures and points of view.
I am happy to be continuing my education but that does not mean I will ever forget my village and my responsibilities to give back to my society with the education I have received. I want to become a professor of economics and use creative approaches to teaching to help young minds develop their ideas.
My advice to all students out there in India, and other countries, is that education and studying abroad will help them to change their life and future.
Sagar Rathi shares his story of coming to Qatar from India, and how a scholarship from Georgetown University is helping him achieve his dreams of continuing his studies