From Albania to Zimbabwe: Why Brown?

Hi! My name is Nitya Sudarshan from Mumbai, India. I will be writing about what Brown is like as an international student, and my many experiences that helped me make Brown my home really far away from home.

A couple of weeks ago, the Admissions Office at Brown admitted many highly accomplished high school students to Brown’s Class of 2021. Brown prides itself on having a ‘diverse’ undergraduate class, with students from different backgrounds, religions, countries, interests and languages. Around this time each year, the roles between colleges and high school students reverse. Rather than the colleges choosing students, it is now students who choose colleges. Understandably, choosing a college is choosing the teaching and learning style you will experience, the city you will spend the next four years of your life in, and the place which will be your home, and undoubtedly shape and modify your academic interests and your character in the future.

With this pressure of making the ‘right’ choice, one of the first most basic and expected (and definitely hardest to answer) questions is “Why Brown over the others?” There’s many ways in which I can take on that question. I can talk about The Open Curriculum at Brown, and the way in which it really does help you enjoy what varied departments have to offer without worrying about finishing concentration requirements. I could talk about how having a first-year advisor and a Meiklejohn (a student advisor) helps you navigate through the open curriculum, and makes sure that you don’t get lost through your first year. I can also talk about how every professor I have encountered has been approachable, helpful and not intimidating. I could also talk about how every one of my friends here is as passionate about their extracurricular activities as they are about their classes and academics. But, it does come down to the fact that there is no way that I could have known what Brown would be to me until I actually came here.

Over the last few days, with excited and anxious admitted and prospective students touring Brown and walking around campus to see if this is the place for them, the only advice that I would give is to really absorb the atmosphere of Brown. Brown is so much more than the departments, research, it’s buildings, reputation and the classes that they offer. Brown students are a lot more than their grades, concentrations and job placements after graduation. Take a moment to really capture the ‘vibe’ of the campus, and see what makes Brown students at home on campus.


If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me at 


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