What it’s like to be an international student at UPES
Maria Bernadete Munto from Cabinda, a small city in north of Angola, recounts how her degree in BBA Oil and Gas from UPES gave her an edge over her peers and landed her a job in the petroleum industry in Angola
UPES is Asia’s first university that offers programs, specifically designed for core sectors with high growth projections. These domain-focused management courses train the students in a way that they understand the nuances of the industry in a much better way than their counterparts. In a highly specialized industry such as oil and gas, it is essential to educate the students in a manner that they become industry-ready as soon as they step out of the university.
Maria Bernadete Munto from Cabinda, a small city in north of Angola, recounts how a degree in BBA (Oil and Gas) from UPES gave her an edge over her peers and landed her a job in the petroleum industry in Angola.
Q1 What motivated you to pursue BBA in Oil and Gas?
Angola is the second-largest oil producer in Africa, and I wanted to contribute to the development of this industry. I love travelling, and companies in the oil and gas industry offer good travel perks. My brothers, who work in the same industry, used to tell me stories about how vast was the market for oil and gas. Therefore, I developed an inclination towards the industry.
Q2 Why did you choose UPES?
I chose UPES as it is one of the top universities in the world for studying petroleum. It gave me everything I could have asked for from an educational institution. Academically, the system was completely different from my home country. In Angola, the class timings are from 8 am-12 pm and at UPES, I used to have classes from 8:30 am-7:30 pm. The teachers were always willing to help, whenever I needed their support. They understood that I was away from home and hence, comforted and took care of me like a family, especially Ms. Samiksha Khurana.
Q3 How was your experience of living in Dehradun?
Dehradun has pleasant weather and moderate climate, which is perfect for students. The mildly cold temperature and greenery provide a peaceful environment to study. It is also one of the safest cities for girls and is student-friendly. While I got the opportunity to visit other cities as well, but there is no other place like Dehradun. As a foreigner, it was difficult to adjust at first, but the people and beauty of the city made me feel at home, The intra-city commute was convenient and affordable and even travelling to neighbouring cities was fairly easy.
Q4 Did you face any challenges during your stay away from home?
I did face certain challenges as an African student, however, all those challenges made me stronger. It took some time to adapt to the culture, language, food and people, but then that is the part and parcel of being an international student. All those experiences helped me become more agile, flexible and confident.
Q5 What would you like to say to other future aspirants?
Being an international student requires a lot of work. However, not everyone gets this opportunity. So, if you get one, plan it well and make the most of it. As an international student in India, I got the chance to travel to a new world. Studying at UPES was an experience unlike any other. I discovered my new self while gaining an understanding of a different culture. Living in a foreign country by yourself can be overwhelming at times and it tests your ability to adapt to diverse situations, but in the process, it makes you resilient.
Message for the alma mater
I don’t even know where to begin. When I finished high school, I was not ready to leave home. I had my fears. When I came to India, its vastness overwhelmed me. But when I visited the Bidholi campus of UPES, I fell in love with the place. The sprawling campus and the forests around reminded me of my hometown. I thank all of you especially Dr. Atul Razdan and Dr. Anirudh Singh for everything you have done for me.