Finding opportunities from the Himalayas to the Hill Country
By Billi London-Gray
Nestled between India and China amidst terrain that contains eight of the 10 highest peaks on earth — including Mount Everest — Nepal is a world away from Texas. But for Durga Pathak, the distance and differences were part of the educational experience he was looking for.
Pathak, who grew up in Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu, helping in his father’s textbook publishing business during school breaks, was determined to attend a U.S. university. After scoring well on the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), he attended the University of South Alabama for one semester before transferring to Austin Community College.
Upon the recommendation of one of his professors at ACC, Pathak became interested in Texas State University. After visiting the campus and talking to current students, he decided to complete his bachelor’s degree in computer science at Texas State.
“The main reason I transferred to Texas State is the quality education — Texas State is among the best universities in Texas,” Pathak says. He says he also likes the school’s location in San Marcos, “a small and peaceful city between Austin and San Antonio,” as well as the low cost of living and affordable tuition.
Staying within the Austin-San Antonio area also allowed Pathak to continue his volunteer activities: he works with refugees from Bhutan, a small country east of Nepal in the Himalayas, helping them adapt to U.S. culture.
As for his own adjustment to Texas State, Pathak says, “The orientation was really good and helpful. My advisors and professors in the computer science department are very helpful and friendly.” He has one piece of advice for future transfer students: “Start your transfer process a little early.”
Pathak hopes to graduate in the fall of 2012. He says his short-term goal is to find a job and apply his knowledge “in the real world.” He hopes one day to establish his own company in Kathmandu.
“Texas State is a really good school with quality education. It has the perfect environment for student life,” he adds. “It will be the best decision you’ve ever made if you come to Texas State.”