Five Questions with Ushna Khan
Ushna Khan, Pakistan, spent the fall semester at KU as a sponsored student through the Global Undergraduate Exchange program.
What were the highlights of your time at KU?
To begin with Michael Buble’s concert was the biggest for sure but on a serious note from the first day till the last everything at KU was a highlight of my life. The orientation week in which I met hundreds of students from different parts of the world helped me amazingly increase my friend circle. Attending the traditions night and singing the Rock Chalk anthem made me feel as I was finally one of the members of the Jayhawk family. Camping out to get a seat at “Late Night at the Phog” was a unique experience in its own. Celebrating Halloween with friends and watching KU win at the basketball game in Allen Field House were some of the nights I will always cherish.
What classes were your favorites and why?
I only had the opportunity to take three courses at KU. Architectural design and sustainability are the fields which I am very well aware of but studying sociology was a very unique experience. The course Social Problems of America was not merely a course but helped me understand the values of American society and how America as a nation has progressed with time. It not only highlighted the American social structure but also helped me identify the problems present in my country and also made me cherish the qualities which I had overlooked for several years.
Did your KU experience change what you plan to do professionally? If so, how?
Before I came to KU, the aim of my life was to finish my undergraduate degree and then practice as an architect. KU and America made me realize that there is much more to experience and learn which I could not do in a short period of four months. The day I left I promised myself that I need to come back to the U.S. and complete my master’s degree and gain some experience. I want to enjoy the perks of living an independent life and explore my horizons.
What advice would you give to the university about working with sponsored students?
International Student Services is a very efficient and effective organization working to help international students in any field possible. They constantly organize events and keep students informed making them feel at home. The only advice I could give is to arrange recreational trips for international students so they can explore different parts of the country. This might already be happening but somehow I wasn’t aware of them.
What surprised you about going to an American university?
I was very much delighted to see how KU and other American universities are creating opportunities for their students to earn and pay their expenses. They have created a sustainable infrastructure in which the students act as a work force which not only supports the university but also the students themselves. Students are provided with a healthy work place which is scheduled according to their timetable which in turn takes away all kinds of pressure and helps the student excel in his academic career.