Coming To America To Study Business

De la Puente says he met most of his friends through his dorm and estimates that about half are American and half are other international students.

“All over this school there are groups of people talking in different languages, but when I came here I didn’t want to limit myself to just international groups. I tried to meet as many people as I could.”

De la Puente plans, at the moment, to stay in the United States and go into finance upon graduation. “I would like to stay here for at least two to four more years – just to learn more. From there I’ll make a decision about where the best place for me is.”

At the moment though, he’s content to stay in the country over the summer, returning home only for Christmas. “I wanted to be far away to gain more independence – to be able to live by myself.”


Shivani Mayani

Shivani Mayani

Shivani Mayani –  University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business 

Shivani Mayani completed her undergraduate education in Mumbai, India. For grad school, however, she moved to Philadelphia in 2008 to get her master’s in finance at the Temple University Fox School of Business and Management. Now, she is in the process of getting her MBA and is about to enter her second year at the University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business.

“I feel like at the undergraduate level, the education in India is perfectly fine, and you don’t really feel like you’re lacking in professors or in quality of education. But after that, it’s not as great. Only select universities in certain parts of the country are recognized internationally, and they don’t have as many options to choose from, like certain majors. I knew that to do my post-graduate education I wanted to go to the United States.”

When she first moved to the United States, she said she was very restricted in what she could bring. “To pack your entire life into three bags was a difficult task. I just brought all the essentials to start a new life, and when I went back in December I was able to get the non-essential stuff. Part of why I chose the U.S. was that everything else that I needed from back home, like Indian food and Indian groceries, I could get quite easily in the U.S.”

She says learning English was never a problem since she lived in a city in India and was always exposed to Western culture. When she arrived, however, she says she was still overwhelmed. “This was something I’d wanted to do for a long time – it was like the stuff you see in movies, that you read in books. To experience it firsthand…my first semester was not at all about studying.”

Though she missed Mumbai a lot during her time at Temple University, she says she doesn’t anymore. “I miss my family but not the city. MBAs usually come later in life, and you have to really decide what you want. At this point in my life, it was a very difficult move. My mom wasn’t doing so well, but I knew what I had to do for my career, and it seemed like the next logical step for a better education. And of course we can talk on Skype whenever we want.”

For her MBA, Mayani chose the University of Maryland for several reasons, including rankings, professors, and word-of-mouth reviews. One of her best friends was several years ahead and told her what the program was like and about the job opportunities she would have after getting the degree. “That motivated me to apply, and I have family on the East Coast, so that was a major factor as well.”

Though the University of Maryland has one of the smallest percentages of international students in the United States, Mayani says she thinks the international community is growing and that she’s surrounded by a good mix of people from different countries. “We have our international festivals, and that is something that I really like.”

She plans to stay in the United States for some time and says that moving helped her gain personal independence earlier in life.

“One of my favorite memories is my first trip to New York,” she says. “That was amazing. It reminded me of home, but on a larger scale. Mumbai is similar in terms of how noisy it is, but it’s totally different otherwise.”

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