UAF welcomes growing contingent of Pune students
Submitted by Marmian Grimes
Phone: (907) 474-7902
The students are studying at UAF under sister city and student exchange agreements signed in 2004. The two agreements allow students from Pune to attend UAF and pay resident tuition.
During the first year of the agreement, two students from Pune attended UAF, a graduate student and an undergraduate student in the electrical and computer engineering department. This year, eight more students made the 6,000-mile journey to attend UAF. Seven are seeking engineering degrees while the eighth is enrolled in the wildlife biology department.
On Oct. 12, the students met with UAF Chancellor Steve Jones, other members of the UAF administration and Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Jim Whitaker. They said they were adjusting well to life in Fairbanks, a notable feat given that the average December temperature in Pune is 70 degrees.
"Before I came to UAF, I was really scared and reluctant to leave my home and friends," said sophomore Shaina Bhojwani. "But after coming here and seeing how warm and friendly the people are here and how good the education system is here, I am really glad I listened to my dad and came here after all."
UAF plans to continue efforts to recruit more students from Pune. Aside from the student exchanges, the sister city relationship may offer opportunities for economic development partnerships between Pune and Fairbanks.
Shirish Patil, an associate professor of petroleum engineering at UAF, is slated to visit Pune in late November, along with a delegation from UAF, to meet with potential students and their parents.