September 18, 2018

To UWS and Back Again

Ramesh Shrestha is happy to be back at UWS to continue his studies this fall.

Ramesh Shrestha is happy to be back at UWS to continue his studies this fall.

Ramesh Shrestha is glad to be back at UWS after learning the grass isn’t always greener.

In 2015, Ramesh Shrestha’s (’21 Computer Science) world was literally shaken. That year, a severe earthquake struck near his home in Kathmandu, Nepal, killing 9,000 people, and injuring thousands more. Ramesh and his family were spared, but their lives were forever impacted as they fled to an evacuation camp.

“People were trapped in collapsed buildings, calling out for help, but many of them could not be reached,” said Ramesh. “That experience changed me and made me even more determined to reach my goals. I’m also the oldest in the family and in my country it’s customary for the oldest to take care of everyone. So, when I finished high school, I was looking for a way to improve myself.”

That was the backdrop in Ramesh’s life when he heard about the University of Wisconsin-Superior.

“I tried some things in Nepal – army, police, government sector – but they just didn’t work out,” he said. “I realized I needed an education and experience in order to open doors.”

Ramesh’s friends told him UWS was beautiful with a big lake nearby and people who were very friendly and helpful.

“I really enjoyed my first year at UWS,” he said. “I made friends easily and felt very welcome. I was impressed that faculty and staff don’t just sit in their offices. They are involved with students and they helped me with anything I needed.”

California Calls

But, the allure of a warmer climate combined with a friend’s urging convinced him to transfer to a community college in California.

“I learned quickly that things were different there,” he said. “The school is a lot larger and I didn’t get the same kind of support. I had a lot of trouble finding a place to live and I just couldn’t seem to get much help.”

After struggling to find housing, to navigate procedures, and even to do his taxes, the proverbial ‘straws that broke the camel’s back’ were added to Ramesh’s already-heavy load.

“First, there were terrible forest fires that impacted the area I was living in and then there were floods. It was pretty bad,” said Ramesh. “It may get cold and snowy in Superior, but that was nothing compared to what I experienced in California. I realized I really wanted to come back to UWS.”

You CAN go home again

Ramesh summoned his courage and emailed the person he said was so helpful to him when he first came to UWS — Mark MacLean, UWS Director of International Admissions — and asked him if he could come back.

“I told him of course you can,” said MacLean. “I couldn’t be more pleased to have him back at UWS. Our team certainly tries to go the extra mile so it was gratifying to know we had made a difference for Ramesh and that he chose to return to campus for that very reason.”

 “UWS is pretty affordable – less expensive than [the community college in California] and I will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in computer science instead of an associate’s degree,” he said. “I now recommend UWS to anyone who will listen and in fact, I did that with my sister. She hopes to come here as soon as she gets her visa.”

Ramesh says he plans to one day return to Nepal to use his computer science degree not only for himself, but to benefit his country and family, as well.

“Nepal is home and I feel a responsibility to be a role model for my younger cousins and other young people there,” he said. “I hope I can be an inspiration to them.”

Ramesh Shrestha is happy to be back at UWS to continue his studies this fall.

Ramesh Shrestha is happy to be back at UWS to continue his studies this fall.

More than 220 international students from 45 countries are enrolled at UW-Superior this fall, and they bring immeasurable academic and cultural value to the campus and local community. Visit our International Students admissions for more information.



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