Ashra Kolhatkar - “A typical day at Mt. A”

Ashra Kolhatkar

Indian student Ashra Kolhatkar describes her journey from India to Canada to pursue a Biology degree at Mount Allison.

Hi all! I’ve been blogging for my university for two years and I’m really excited to have a whole new set of readers. I hope you’ll enjoy my posts as much as I enjoy writing them.

I’ll start by introducing myself. My name is Ashra Kolhatkar and I’m from India. I grew up in a town called Kodaiakanal in Tamil Nadu (India). I also attended an international high school in Kodai for 14 years and graduated in 2006 with an IB Diploma. I did the Full IB (International Baccalaureate) that is a broad, pre-university programme that equipped me with all the skills I’d need for university. Also, because of the material the IB covers, I got a full year of transfer credit to Mount Allison University (Mt A) in Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada. I took a gap year after high school and with the year of transfer credit, I was able to jump right into my second year when I got to Mt A in September 2007. I am a biology major and a geography minor and I hope to graduate from Mt A with a BSc in Biology in May 2010.

One must realise that college or university for international students is very expensive. That’s why my decision about where to go after high school was largely based on which institution offered me the most financial aid. I was very lucky to be a recipient of the Bell Scholarship, valued at $12,000 a year. Without this, university outside of India would have been prohibitively expensive.

I’ve absolutely loved my time at Mt A. I’ve made good friends, had lots of fantastic professors and classes and I’ve been able to take advantage of opportunities that I would never have otherwise had. I think that’s the joy of university: we are forced to leave our comfort zones of high school and home and family and move into a whole new life with all kinds of new experiences open to us.

I’m back in India for the summer now visiting friends and family and traveling with my parents and my twin brother, Arjun.

It’s nice to be at home with my family after two years in Sackville (I didn’t come home last summer and chose to stay and work in Sackville instead), but I miss my friends from Mt A and the life that I have there and I’m really looking forward to going back to Sackville on the 5th of September.

I guess that’s all for now. Let me say again that I’m very happy to have this new opportunity to share my thoughts and experiences with all of you, and I hope my stories have some impact on you.

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