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[THE CHRONICLE of HIGHER EDUCATION] Amazing Story of SUNY Korea studen…Press Releaseㅣ2018-05-31 14:01
Roshan Poudel got an offer, just as he had hoped. On the last day of April, he received an email from the State University of New York’s campus in South Korea. “Congratulations!” the message began. SUNY was giving him a scholarship — a big one.
For the second time in three months, Poudel, who lives in Pokhara, Nepal, had received a full-ride offer from a faraway college. The first had vanished; this one would not. But there was little time to answer an important question: Did he really want to spend the next four years in South Korea?
As The Chronicle reported last week, Poudel was one of 93 Nepali students who had accepted a full scholarship to the University of Texas at Tyler for the fall. And he was among the 61 who, in mid-April, learned that the university had rescinded the offer, citing “extraordinary demand.” Tyler had promised many more scholarships than it could afford to give. There had been, the university said, an “oversight.”
That’s a mild word for what was, in fact, an inexplicable mistake that shredded the plans of 61 teenagers on the other side of the world. The oversight stranded them with few options at the tail end of the admissions cycle. The oversight left them with no recourse and little faith in American colleges.
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As for his own decision, Poudel went back and forth as the May 4 deadline neared. He emailed more than a dozen specific questions to an admissions officer at SUNY Korea, and received a specific answer to each one. He got on the telephone with a college counselor who was South Korean and asked her about studying in her native country. In less than 100 hours, he learned as much as he could about a university he had known nothing about. He wouldn’t have to learn Korean to study at SUNY Korea, he realized, but he could do so if he chose. Maybe that would be a hassle. Or maybe it was an opportunity.
Yet the thought of moving to Korea still scared him. The thought of moving to the U.S. did not. SUNY Korea had a good reputation. The UT system had cachet. He asked himself what he wanted most. To study in the United States? To get a good education without burdening his parents?
Poudel tried to picture himself graduating from the University of Texas at Arlington and from SUNY Korea. What kind of man would he be then? Which degree would be more valuable? What would he have accomplished on each campus?
The questions stormed in his head as the sun set on Wednesday. He decided to sleep on it.
Poudel wrestled with the decision all day Thursday before making his choice. About an hour before midnight, he opened Gmail and started a new message, typing the words that would bend his future toward one horizon and away from another. “It is my honor,” he wrote, “to accept this offer and be a part of SUNY Korea.” He said a prayer and then clicked “Send.”
Source and picture: The Chronicle of Higher Education / May 6, 2018