Student Spotlight: Sheetal Gaharwar
I am a master’s degree student at O.P. Jindal Global University in Sonipat, India. This past semester, I studied at the McCourt School of Public Policy as part of an exchange program.
The spring semester exchange program at the McCourt School of Public Policy has been an unforgettable experience that gave me a greater understanding of the academic, social, and cultural lives of my American classmates, and changed my view on life. As a citizen of one of the most culturally and ethnically diverse countries in the world, I was amazed to see such rich and immense diversity of international character in the United States in general, and at Georgetown University in particular.
The academic structure that I followed at the Jindal School of Government and Public Policy was very similar to the structure at Georgetown, so I did not face many difficulties on that front. I took two courses in public management and negotiation at the McCourt School, and a course on urbanization, health, and environment from Georgetown’s International Health Department, because public health is my academic and professional interest area. These courses offered me a great deal of insight and taught me skills to examine concepts from various perspectives, and the diversity of the students in the classrooms ensured that I saw things from multiple viewpoints.
When I compare Georgetown to Jindal University, I see that while Georgetown classes offer an exemplary syllabus structure, Jindal provides a great amalgamation of classroom teaching and experiences in the field. I feel lucky and proud to be a part of these premier institutions from both India and the United States.
This exchange semester is the final capstone of my two-year master’s program. After my graduation in May 2017, I aspire to work in rural areas in the field of health—the heart and core of my passion. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to work with my dream organization, SEARCH, which implements some of the most acclaimed models of community health programs in the world. I will be working as a policy fellow in a rural, tribal area in eastern Maharashtra. My academic and professional experience as a graduate assistant at Georgetown helped prepare me for my future endeavors. In conclusion, this venture broadened my vision to see the world, its people, and their problems, and also made me value my country and recognize my responsibilities toward it even more. Thank you! Namaste!