Overseas Indian Student Network, 20 Questions - Meet Deepak Sulakhe...

Meet Deepak Sulakhe, he currently lives in West Lake, California, USA. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Architecture (Bangalore University, India) and a Graduate Degree in Real Estate Development (Texas A & M University, USA).
Published - Feb 2001
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1. What is the prime reason for your studying outside India?
I can specifically answer about the US only: US universities offer better facilities, better teachers, courses are more practical, the semester system keeps you on your toes, the education is well rounded in terms of testing your written and oral skills, all this while I am honing my social/domestic skills by living independently.

2. How does studying overseas compare to the quality of education in India?
Same as in 1.

3. What do you like most about your education overseas?
Same as in 1.

4. What do you miss the most from your schooling in India?
Proximity to family.

5. Will your current education be relevant back in India?

6. If you were in a position of authority, what would you change in India's system of education?
First, I would make it a semester system. Then, I would grade students on their overall performance (homework, tests, oral presentations, teamwork, etc.), rather than just the finals. I would also try to make the universities more research oriented. These ways not only are the professors employed full time within the universities, but this also offers part-time employment to students. Lastly, I would seek sufficient funding to improve the facilities within the universities.

7. Had you travelled overseas before coming to study?

8. What was your biggest cultural shock in your new environment?
Freedom, affluence, responsibility, patriotism, friendliness amongst students; lack of a family, lack of a long history as compared to India.

9. How many times have you gone back to India

10. How do you cope with homesickness?
By calling home

11. What struck you most on your first return to India?
Poverty, population, the dependence, lack of love for the rich indian culture, lack of facilities, inefficiency in the various systems

12. Did you find the Indian student community supportive while settling in the country?

13. How much do you interact with other foreign students?
A lot!! Being in the same boat, we served as support to each other.

14. What are some of the most interesting (funny) observations others have made about India?
The population, poverty ... I have been asked if we still travel on elephants.

15. What is the most amusing gaffe (social blunder) you made while in this new environment?
I asked my supervisor if I could go out and have a "fag"!!!

16. How do you find the social life in your university?

17. Have you ever felt discriminated or slighted for being an Indian?
A couple of times outside of the University.

18. Where do you usually eat? How have you adjusted to the absence of spicy Indian cuisine?
At home, in Indian/Thai restaurants ..., no I have not adjusted to the absence of spicy Indian cuisine ... I am not sure if I ever will.

19. Do you plan to return to India for good?

20. A message for fellow Overseas Indian students..
Do not forget where your roots are from and do not forget what India has given you. Cricket is the best game ever!

- Deepak Sulakhe in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

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