International First-Years Decide to Attend Virtually for the Semester

By Danielle Rice || Arts & Leisure Editor

Incoming first-year students Aryaa Ogale (left) and Apurva Subedi (right). Photo courtesy of the subjects.

When First-Year Apurva Subedi decided on F&M, he did not know he would be attending his first semester virtually. Like many of us, Subedi assumed that things would be under control by August. As an international student from Kathmandu, Nepal, getting a visa during this time has proven to be difficult. Because of this, he has decided to study remotely this fall.

Subedi intends to double major in Economics and Mathematics. In fact, one of his reasons for choosing F&M was the Economics department. He said, it “was the only one geared specifically towards poverty and inequality. My reason for choosing Economics as a major is also specifically because of all the poverty and inequality I see all around my country.” In addition to his interest in Economics, he is also passionate about music. “I have been playing the piano for eight years now, guitar for six and a little violin here and there,” Subedi said. “I play classical music to learn, and 1900s music because I love listening to [it].” He plans on joining several F&M groups such as music clubs and societies, and Mock Trial.

Subedi said he has, for the most part, made peace with the semester, and the possibility of the year, being taught virtually. “[F&M] professors seem committed to making this a good experience for us remote learners, too, so that certainly helps in dealing with it,” Subedi said. He is looking forward to becoming part of the F&M community. “I just want to build as many connections as I can,” Subedi said. “I want to know people, dive into their cultures, [and] be a part of this community that will stick with me for life.”

First-Year Aryaa Ogale has had a similar experience. After the pandemic, she questioned whether or not she should even begin college or if she should take a gap year. Because of the state of COVID-19 in her hometown, Mumbai, and all across India, she has decided to attend remotely, as well. Despite this, she has a positive outlook on the semester. “Although the possibility of the spring semester being online for freshmen is sad, to look at it under current circumstances, being online is the safest and the most logical option. We can study and complete our courses and stay connected to all our friends and college faculty, as well,” she said.

Ogale is planning on majoring in Biology on the Pre-Med track, and when she graduates, she aspires “to join a physical therapy school and become a sports physiotherapist.” She has also played squash competitively for nine years, and she will be on the F&M squash team when sports start up again. “I want to help the team get better each season and get more wins for the team,” Ogale said. In addition, she would consider joining the dance team, and possibly get involved in theater at F&M. 

She is looking forward to the next four years for many reasons. “I want to grow as a student and explore and utilize the various opportunities that college has to offer. I want to improve my social communication skills and enhance my leadership skills, as well,” Ogale said. She is also excited to meet new friends, be in a new environment, and learn about others’ cultures. She said, “I am looking forward to [emerging] as a better person after it!”

Junior Danielle Rice is Arts & Leisure Editor, her email is drice@fandm.edu

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