World view: Conversations with our international students

World view: Conversations with our international students

By Kalsey Larson
News intern

Last fall, the University of St. Thomas enrolled 258 graduate students and 63 undergraduates from countries outside the United States. To help you get to know some of them, Bulletin Today will publish a weekly column called "World view."

This week, we profile India, a country that 59 of our graduate students call home. Our largest population of international graduate students come from India. As of fall, no undergraduates from India were enrolled at UST.

St. Thomas students Devdatta Nawalkar and Mahesh Vallamsetty

Indian student Devdatta Nawalkar is acquiring a master’s degree in software engineering. He said he enjoys heavy metal music in the Twin Cities and that his sister lives nearby. The weather is the biggest difference between here and home, “especially for someone like me who comes from the traditionally warm and humid climates of Bombay,” Nawalkar said.

Mahesh Vallamsetty is in his final semester of studying database management systems. He misses his family, but has loved his campus job as a Web technician, updating Web sites in the Student Affairs Department. He also loves a burger with fries and a Coke – no ice. Vallamsetty has been surprised that many people go on road trips or camp– in India people work more than 40 hours per week and very few go on these types of treks, he said.

India is located in southern Asia, bordering the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, between Burma and Pakistan.

Here are a few facts about India:

  • Total area: 3,287,590 square kilometers
    Slightly more than one-third the size of the United States
  • Capital: New Delhi
  • Currency: Rupee
  • National language: Hindi
  • Population: 1,095,351,995 (July 2006)
  • Government type: Federal Republic
  • Literacy rate: 59.5 percent
  • Religion: 80.5 percent Hindu, 13.4 percent Muslim, 2.3 percent Christian, 1.9 percent Sikh and 1.9 percent other

Three interesting facts:

  1. The median age is 24.9.
  2. India has the fourth-largest coal reserves in the world.
  3. The world’s first-known university was established in Takshashila, India, in 700 B.C.